Tuesday, August 28, 2012

what's in my toddler bag


Long gone are our days of diaper bags brimming with everything imaginable....diapers, wipes, bibs, burp cloths, change of clothes, bottles, teethers, rattles, security blankets, nursing pads, and a million other things I'm sure I've already forgotten.  These days life is a lot simpler when it comes to what we need to get out of the door...but that doesn't mean we leave the house empty handed either.  So, I thought I'd share what we just can't imagine leaving the house without...even as Addie quickly approaches the 2 year mark:

snacks - Addie does snacks...she's not a big "meal" eater...she's my little bird that likes to graze.  Which simply means...she wants something no less than every two hours...so snacks are a must anytime we head out.  Some of her favorites...aunt annie's fruit snacks, gold fish, happy baby caramel apple yogurt melts, cheese sticks, and plum pouches.

wipes - I don't think I'll ever go another day in my life without a pack of these by my side...perfect for messy faces, spills in the car, diaper duty, dirty hands, and anything else that needs a clean wipe.

favorite book - Addie LOVES to read...she actually asks to bring a book to bed every night...so it's no surprise that they go with us in the car too.  It keeps her happy and content while we trek around town...happy toddler = happy mommy and daddy:)  anything dr. suess is all the rage right now in our house

water or milk - this girl is ALWAYS thirsty...which means we better have something for her when she asks...I love the thermos foogo cups that are well insulated and really keep her drinks cool so i usually grab those if we plan to be gone for any length of time.

and last but certainly not least...diapers...enough said, right?!

Amazing what a difference two years makes...I usually just carry a small clutch with the diapers, wipes, and snacks...milk/water in the other hand and she covers the book....simple, right?!

**I have not been paid or in any way incentivized to write this post - these opinions are my own and name brands mentioned are those we enjoy in our home.**

Monday, August 27, 2012

show & tell - all things wedding

Linking up for the second week with Becky over at From Mrs. to Mama for show & tell...this week we are sharing all things wedding...which can i just say, where in the world was pinterest when I was planning my wedding?!?!

1.  Are you married?  If so, when did you get married and tell us about your special day.

YES...and have been happily so for 4 1/2 years...although it seems like its only been a year.  We said "i do" on a beautiful spring day on a green overlooking the sand dunes of the chesapeake bay.  we completely lucked out weather wise and celebrated with family and close friends.  one of my favorite memories was the dinner we enjoyed together away from everyone else where we really got the chance to soak it all in (i highly recommend at least 10 minutes of alone time during your event)..we went with a station/buffet style dinner so we actually chowed down during the cocktail hour (which was the "picture hour" for us and we snuck in a meal at the end while our wedding party got started on the end of cocktail hour...i really don't think anyone had any idea we even slipped away).

2.  Show us some wedding pictures.

3.  How about the engagement.  Tell us your story.

eeeeppp...slightly embarrassed to say but I helped my hubs pick my ring...so i totally knew it was coming...and i was totally inquiring on a daily basis what the hold up was...yes, i was that girl.  he surprised me by proposing in our home one evening after i had just finished my shower...we celebrated by getting dessert at the melting pot.

4.  Show us your wedding rings or an engagement photo.

a picture speaks a thousand words...my all time fave pic of my rings...a very simple platinum set with a round cut diamond

5.  Tell us why you think marriage doesn't work out for so many.  What can we do to make things last.

COMMUNICATION is key....for real.  Make big decisions together...and be considerate of each other's feelings...and always kiss each other goodnight...no matter how mad you are - sounds corny and cliche but it's worked for us.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Addie's 2nd birthday preview

The party is a little over a month away but I've taken advantage of some major motivation I've had to get things together and thought I'd share some of the highlights...

"Look whoo's turning 2"...yep, that's the theme...cheesiness to the max...but shouldn't it be for a 2 year old's birthday party?!?!  We are going with the owl theme this year which was completely inspired by Addie's halloween costume last year (here are some pictures).  Bright pinks and oranges will be the colors and we are planning to host a much smaller gig than last year.  Here are a few sneak peaks of some decorations I made purchased (let's be honest...i'm trying to reduce my stress levels these days;)) for the party.  We are planning to keep the food pretty simple and as always there will be plenty of sugar to go around.  BBQ sandwiches (or maybe sliders...depending on how on fancy we decide to get), Miss Vickie's chips (a household favorite), mom's pasta salad, and red skin potato salad will serve as the main course....and for dessert (who are we kidding...thats what people really look forward to) it will be cupcakes and owl-shaped brownies (wish me luck on that endeavor) and maybe....just maybe some cake pops and/or oreo truffles (game-time decision on those).  I'd love to hear what you guys have planned so feel free to share your ideas or thoughts!!!  Photobucket

I can't wait to share all of the post party pics and give credit to the wonderful folks who were able to make my decorating dreams a reality!!! 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

If heaven wasn't so far away...

my dad and grampie
I suppose if heaven wasn't so far away this would all be easier...but we all know the truth.  I'll always long for one more happy hour, one more hug, one more conversation, one more card, one more memory...but it won't happen.  Yesterday I lost my Grampie...one of my biggest cheerleaders, Ohio State's biggest fan, and one of the most wonderful people god ever lent to this earth.  I know he's up there looking down on us all with great love...I hope he's found my poppa and maybe they've shared a memory and a laugh.  I don't suppose collecting angels was what I expected to be doing this summer but I'm thankful that the pain has ended and the suffering is over...no one should have to spend their last days like that.  My Grampie was 91 years old when he left this earth and he without doubt did so much for this place the 91 years he spent here.  A purple heart veteran of WWII, an honest business man with customer service as his priority, and most importantly a loving father, grandfather, and great grandfather....you simply could not ask for more.

"Those we love don't go away, they walk beside us every day.  Unseen, unheard, but always near, still loved, still missed, and very dear."

3 generations of boys - my grampie, brother, and dad
my grampie and grammie having fun with the kids;)
my grammie and grampie

Monday, August 20, 2012

show & tell

Joining in on a brand new link-up hosted by none other than the adorable, fun-loving, and hysterical Becky from Mrs. to Mama for show & tell...this week being all things home.

1.  If you were searching for a home now, tell me what would be on your "must" list.  That's a pretty long list these days...after buying our current fixer upper and doing so much to it...I simply can't imagine starting over in our next home SO, i really really want to buy something that I absolutely love and has everything i want (yea, probably not going to happen unless we build).  But...my top 5 would be:

     1.  Gourmet kitchen - nice appliances, great cabinet space, solid surface counters, and one of those auto hot-water faucets above the stove would be really nice too.

 2.  Screen porch - I dont really do bugs...and mosquitos love me....which makes life outside difficult during the summer but i love being outside.  the screen porch is a total haven for me...i love drinking coffee and reading a book on ours and really can't imagine not having one in our next house

3.  Walk-in attic space - I know it sounds kind of silly that this would make my top 5...but I cannot even begin to count the number of times totes have piled up in my house because it is such a pain to get into our attic.  I'd love to have attic space off a FROG or in the second story that I could just walk into and stow away our stuff!!
 4.  Open floor plan - We love to entertain and having an open floor plan just makes this so much more feasible.  I can't stand wasted space in homes and I think having a floor plan that's very open totally helps to minimize that issue.

    5.  Nice yard size - This is totally a must....room to run (for us and the dogs).  I also love to garden and plant flowers so space...we need space!

2.  Show me your favorite room in a home.  As for my favorite room in a home...I'm still giddy excited over our kitchen remodel we just completed.  You can go here to get all of the juicy details and here's a pic of the finished project!


3.  If you could have any room redone, tell me which one it would be and what you would like done.  I have to be honest here...the hubs and I bought a fixer-upper 5 years ago and have been remodeling it over the last 5 years...the kitchen remodel was really our last big project but our master bedroom could still use some re-doing.  I bought new bedding and repainted when we had our floors refinished as part of the kitchen remodel but it just lacks something.  I think it needs more decoration...it's just so plain.  So..while there isn't anything huge I want done...I'd love to spice it up a bit!

4.  Tell me where your favorite stores are to shop for home decor.  Lately, I have been completely loving this little shop in Virginia Beach called Chartreuse.  It's totally vintage and I just love all of the fun things they find and spruce up.  We are in the midst of putting together Addie's big girl room and I've been able to find so many fun things here.  I also love Home Goods for discount home decor, overstock for rugs, and pottery barn and restoration hardware for everything else.

5.  Show me your dream home.  Gosh...so hard to pick.  Some days I find myself longing for a home in the country with a huge garden, beautiful farm house, and lots of land.  Other days I just want a bigger home close to where we currently live in the 'burbs.  Anyhow, here's a house I found that I just can't get enough of (y'all look at those porches...amazing):

Thursday, August 16, 2012

our BIG kitchen remodel - AFTER - part I

So...here it is...my apologies for taking so long to post the AFTER pictures...most of you have probably forgotten I was even blogging about our kitchen remodel...but I'm so excited to be sharing our "after" pics!!  If you want a refresh you can find the "before" post here and the "during" post here.  We are still putting some finishing touches on the living area that was also a victim of this transformation but the dining room and kitchen are done...with the exception for a serious need for artwork and wall decor in the dining room...we're working on that.

As for what we did....
* we tore out 4 walls and added some support in our attic and underneath our house as one of the walls was load-bearing (we also put a long header in and basically have a huge cased opening from our living area to our kitchen/dining area - i was leery of this idea originally but love the results - it really gives some subtle room definition).

* we replaced all of our kitchen cabinets and countertops and added the island.  we also moved the sink location to the island and placed the stove where the sink previously was.

* we added a little computer/mail nook so that when baby #2 becomes a reality we won't miss losing our home office.  we worked with lowes on the cabinet design and they were able to include some "office-type" cabinets in our kitchen design so we really have a small home office built in to our kitchen but with the uniform cabinetry it blends really well.

* we had all of the hardwood in our home refinished and stained a dark walnut color and a satin finish clear coat put over them (we previously had a honey color with a high gloss coat which showed the dog scratches like whoa)...one of the best decisions we made.  we actually also had some new hardwood installed in our kitchen which had previously boasted a beautiful brick laminate flooring (insert sarcasm here).  i was completely unsure of how the results would turn out but you cannot tell where the old stops and the new starts...did i mention i love the nice man that did this work for us?!?!

* we converted our boiler/furnace to natural gas from oil.  y'all, oil was making me a poor poor woman...natural gas is much more eco-friendly and allowed my hubs to get his coveted gas stove.

* we added a lot of overhead lighting to brighten things up.

* we stressed, cried, screamed, laughed, moved out of our house, and in the end...couldn't be happier with  results....



I have to admit...looking back at everything I totally wish I'd been better with keeping up with the pictures....here are some side-by-side comparisons of the changes...did I mention I'm really glad this whole process is over....

just looking at the before and after of the kitchen alone is crazy.  i'm so used to the new and looking back at the old makes me wonder how we survived 5 years of crafting dinners together in our tiny kitchen!!
the pictures above and below totally highlight the walls we removed to make this whole "open-feel" idea work.  we always knew we wanted open living space and we are just loving our new digs.
the picture above is actually from a few steps in from the front door.  Crazy what a difference it is!!!

I'm hoping to have the last few little projects finished up SOON so I can share our living room transformation as well...

As always...any questions...I'm an open book - just let me know!

UPDATE:  Here are the deets on where we got everything:
     Cabinets: Kraftmaid cabinets from Lowes
     Counters: Kraftmaid granite from Lowes
     Tile backsplash:  Slate subway tile from Lowes
     Stove:  GE cafe 30" dual-fuel range direct from GE
     Microwave:   GE cafe Advantium oven direct from GE
     Refrigerator:  LG 31 cubic feet french door from Best Buy
     Dishwasher: Bosch stainless steel from Lowes
     Dining Room table and chair set - Distressed mango wood purchased from Home Emporium
     Light Fixtures: from Home Depot
     Sink Fixtures: Kohler from Home Depot
     Bar Stools: Blair counter stool from Ethan Allen
     Dining Room Rug - grey trellis rug from Overstock
     Kitchen rug - savannah cane runner from Crate & Barrel

PS I'm also sharing this post as part of Amanda's weekend bloggy link-up...it's a great place to share your favorite post of the week and check out some craftiness, humor, and inspiration!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Things I always want to remember....

These years...they will go by SO fast...I know - I blinked and my baby girl is almost 2.  As I was getting Addie ready for bed tonight...I got to thinking about everything she is doing and saying right now and how if I could just hit pause...I would.  But since we all know that's not possible...I wanted to write down some of my favorite things....

her sweet nature....while running errands the other morning i heard her in the back of the car chatting away....the words..."boo boo, you k?"...in this sweet little "mother hen voice" - i suppose she was imitating either me or her teacher at school.  she's hyper-focused on boo boos...and it just makes me smile to see her care so much if someone else is hurt.  and prudence the owl....her go-to stuffie...her baby.  she carries prudence everywhere...feeds her dinner and milk...hugs and kisses her and will not sleep without her.

Addie and Prudence

her hugs - I can't tell you how many times I've almost melted at the door when I'm greeted with a hug on my way in the door from work.  I'm amazed at how this little baby that I cuddled and kissed for months is now constantly returning the affection...makes my heart smile.

the way she explores....constantly.  like a sponge...she takes in everything around her.  in the tub..outside (always looking for bugs...always)...in the house...in the car...everywhere.  she loves trying to figure out how things work and what they can do.


her "addie-tude" - yea...she's still got it.  She despises nap time and bed time...and I totally remember being the same way when I was little but as much as it kills me to hear her scream..."momma..momma...help"...i know its only a matter of time before the sand man takes over.

her curls - i have no idea if they will stay or go...both the hubs and i have wavy hair but didn't have these curls as babes.  any length to her hair curls right up and i just love looking at the bunch of curls on the back of her head...i hope they stay!!!


her love of reading...books, books, books...in your hand - yea, she'll even help you flip the pages. we read the same book at least 6 times before we are allowed to move onto the next...i hope her love of books lasts her a lifetime.

her "cheese" - Addie has become quite enamored with the camera as of late...everytime i pull it out...i get "momma, cheese" and a grit-toothed smile with a loud "cchhheeessssseee..."  and speaking of cheese (like the food)...i think she's addicted...she's constantly requesting it...hands down her favorite food.
her dancing - I get so tickled just watching her jam out to some of her favorite tunes...Adele, Jack Johnson, Jimmy Buffet, Brad Paisley....and even an occasional Biggie....this girl loves it all.  If you pick her up and dance with her...you can count on being her best friend for life.

the way she picks the garden....green tomatoes, red tomatoes, leaves...it doesn't matter...she's picking it.  and with a great sense of excitement...this girl loves to go out in the garden.


the way she tries to repeat everything we say....i get so tickled listening to her try to say whatever word I've just uttered...the most recent one that totally had me on the floor laughing...gorgeous.  something about an almost 2 year old saying something is "gorgeous" got me.

how she sticks her tongue out when she's concentrating on something.  i just noticed her starting to do this recently but she totally does it


her style....or maybe not.  this girl loves to try and dress herself...she changes her mind on her shoes at least twice before we leave the house every morning...the more glitter the better and dresses are all she wants to wear...girly girl, much?!

dadda's shoes...uumm, and socks...are a favorite too.  she did this all by herself...swear!

and most importantly...i just love the way she has changed my life...given me new perspective...made me a better person.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

a day at the beach..

so i must sheepishly admit....we live in virginia beach...15 minutes from my driveway to the edge of the atlantic....number of times we've been to the beach this year: 1.  i know what some of you are thinking...i live 1,000 miles from the beach and i've been there more than you have this year...and that would be a true story.  BUT, when we actually made it...we were so glad we did.  I also felt like a total #momfail because my little babe LOVES the beach.  There was not an ounce of fear or shyness in that girl when it came to the waves and sand...it warmed my heart to see my girl loving the beach so much.  So, we're going to go back...seriously.  Here are some pics from our adventure:





Thank you all SO much for your continued prayers and support...i am so thankful to be surrounded by so many wonderful people (virtually and in the flesh) and it has really helped me.  I feel like I've really come a long way in the past week - I can actually talk about everything without breaking down and have come to terms with the reality of it all.  so thank you, thank you, thank you!!  this week has been a blur and i know i've missed out on catching up with everyone else and i apologize...im hoping to get caught up by the end of the week:)

Monday, August 6, 2012

thank you and Addie's 22 month update

I first wanted to thank everyone from the very bottom of my heart for all of the uplifting comments and emails.  This has been without doubt one of the toughest experiences I've been through and blogging about what happened really helped me get into words where my mind was at....but the comments and emails that followed...that's what helped me get through the week.  If you've never been there its not easy to know what to say and if you have...reading someone else's story and reliving your own is painful too...so thank you, for reading...for supporting me...it's meant more than I could ever express in words.  Each day has been better...I've ironed....alot.  I don't particularly enjoy that chore but it's been better than sitting and thinking.  Addie's 2nd birthday planning (which this update has kindly reminded me is only 2 months way....sheesh) and her toddler room designing has been in full swing.  Distraction is necessary.

Here is Addie's 22 month update....crazytown that she is almost 2!

22 month update

and in good fun - while watching the horse jumping in the olympics yesterday addie told me she wanted a horse.  Thats a pretty big birthday request if you ask me...but I'm marking yesterday as the FIRST time Addie asked for a horse;)

in the mean time...these guys will have to do...