Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Brene Brown & Numbing Creativity....

I am enamored with Brene Brown's work, just like everyone else in the world.  The following is her Ted Talk if you haven't watched it. I love that it has over 6.5 million views.  Since I heard about Brene, I've also listened to most of her books on Audible. 
I am not sure which book or podcast I heard her talk about numbing creativity.  She's been on Tim Ferri's Podcast as well as more recently on Jen Hatmakers Podcast - If you aren't familiar with Jen here is a link.  Regardless, as a Brene groupie this concept of numbing creativity has been so powerful for me as I've transitioned from corporate stock broker to stay at home mom.  The last two years working, I stopped being creative.  I think partially because I felt that mom guilt that is so prevalent, but also when you stop being creative it's harder to get back.  (Which also makes me worried about our education system, but that's something for another day.) I love to write, I love to take pictures, I love to hike and my last two years working I did almost none of the above.  The less I did, the unhappier I became.  

I've watched over the last eight months as my creativity that I pushed deeper and deeper inside me rise back to the surface.  As I stood in the shower this past week or taken a walk around the cemetery my mind was plagued with things or ideas to write about, projects to look forward to and pictures to take.  Brene spoke once about her friends husband who was frustrated with his wife because every night she came home from work and would retreat to their garage to make candles.  The wife had started a small business on Etsy and sold something like eight candles a year.  Brene counseled him to not squash her candle making because there in lies the key to happiness and joy.  It was her way of being creative.  I've tried writing about being a working mom and transitioning to being at home and I just can't yet, some of the wounds are too raw and I'm not far enough past my trial to fully embrace the vulnerability, something Brene would council against.  But what I do know is that if your feeling some type of unhappiness in your life, the best thing you can do is force yourself into creativity.  Whatever that might look like, even if it's making candles in your garage, writing a blog that no one in particular reads, or taking pictures.  My mom loves to sew and is a great example of carving out creative time. It will be then that you find out your contribution to the world.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Pantry - Before & After...

One of the things I completely under estimated when buying a fixer upper was closet painting.  When we moved in I had this mindset that I wasn't going to put anything in a closet unless it was painted.  Well let me tell you, painting closets suck.  Luckily, a couple of months after we moved in my entire family came to help and a lot of my closets got painted.  My brother Nick also made me this pantry, which I will say, it a game changer! 

That green wall on the right wasn't even a real wall.  It was like a random piece of sheet-rock someone had thrown in there so Nick had to start by building that wall and then did this. 
I eventually put the microwave in there because we are seriously lacking in counter top space. This is my go to spot for every thing, so thank goodness I have a good brother. 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

July & August...

4th of July, went to see the big American Flag with Papa and the Cornaby's, the pictures don't do it's size justice.  

 Apparently this is the best family photo we can get.  
 Caldwell loves to paint, so I bought some of these $1 things at the craft store and we paint when Mason is sleeping.  It worries me though because Caldwell always wants me to "fix it" so it's perfect and I end up painting a lot of it.  Sometimes he won't even try.  Any tips on getting your kid to just try?
 Sunday morning walks through the cemetery.  We have 1:00 church we so try and let dad sleep in and get the wiggles out.  Usually Caldwell runs through the sprinklers and is soaked by the time we get home. 
 Our anticipation for Baby Lucy (Nancy's) was unreal.  This was Mason and her meeting for the first time.  
 Got together with High School friends Nicole and Kate - we are missing two of Nicole's kids in the photo.  Can't believe we have some many between us.  It was so fun getting together and surmising about all the things going on in life. 

Watched this on Netflix for the second time.  Let me just warn you it's got some infidelity and might be too naughty for some, but I think I connected with Brooke Shields character so much because she went from having an intense job to being home and I just really liked it.  

My mom has like eight grandsons under the age seven or something like that.  We have these big roping's on Sunday night and they are all roping each other or playing bucking bull and it's all a bit much, but so fun for Caldwell.  
 Fiesta Days Parade

 I caught Caldwell hidden in the closet with Mason, just as he was about to cut Mason's hair.  Luckily he had wet it down first so he couldn't get the scissors to cut any.  What a stinker!

 Couldn't resist. 
 Every year they have cheap Halloween costumes at Costco in July and I forget to buy them and then when we need to get a costume they are out.  I knew better this year and just bought one.  Spider man it is!
 I thought it was cute Mason went and took Cald his bottle.  

 My nephews friend from High School, who I also student taught just got drafted to the Miami Dolphins.  I don't think you understand the extent of the amount of football my husband watches, so I decided I better just start getting into this stuff.  I'm looking forward to watching him play this season.  I mean that is if there isn't a good Hallmark movie on. 

 I made this triple chocolate trifle recipe while my brother in law was in town from Connecticut.  They were pretty good and super easy.  The recipe is here.   

 While Matt was in town we took them to ride horses.  Chris has all the pictures of everyone riding on his phone, but here is Mason with Papa.  Mason is game for anything, he even ran around the arena with me on a horse and was laughing his head off, while Caldwell on the other hand is my timid one and screamed the entire time.  
 We finally got a family car, my mom status has really increased the last couple months.  Driving this thing has seriously given me an entire new identity.  It has a DVD player and Caldwell is obsessed with this show about the ABC's and in the last week I just drive around with the ABC's playing and think about what I've become.  ha ha 
 Thought they looked cute for church, except this is as good as it's gonna get for pictures. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Laundry & Storage - Progress...

I highly doubt you can call these before and after pictures, but we worked really hard to clear all the stuff the old home owners left behind and then scrub it so we could do laundry.  
 The reality is I don't know if this room and storage will ever look much different, unless I win the lottery.  Let's be honest, if I win the lottery, I am moving.  I would love to have it tiled nicely and real walls, but this room gives us access to all the pipes in the house, and because it's old, we need that easy access to everything.  Once I scrubbed the floors with Clorox (15 times) I feel okay with any laundry falling on the floor.  

The storage room below is connected to the laundry room.  You can see the door next to the mirror in the photo above.  This room is awesome, but also the bane of my existence.  It's so nice to have a dedicated storage pace.  Especially since the majority of our things were on pallets in my dad's warehouse for years.  The only problem is that when this house was built, in the 1950's, the whole concept of a plastic tote did not exist yet.  So there is like maybe three shelves that fit stuff on them, the rest are good for things like jars of canned pears.  Which is fine, but I'm in the phase of life where I'm savings every size of little boys clothing from newborn to 4T and need some dang room for plastic totes! 

My grandma Donna has/had (she has passed away, but the room is still there) a room in her basement where all the shelves are painted white and it has carpet inside and she puts all her holiday stuff in there.  It's like 5X the size of this, but once again if I ever make it big I think this would be a really nice spot for white shelves and carpet, but more importantly I'd love to re-do the shelving for that darn blasted plastic tote. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Happy Birthday Chris...

Chris turned 38 last week on the 9th.  I love any reason to celebrate Chris.  Our marriage has always been pretty great.  Even the times when I've been pregnant and don't know how to be nice. Caldwell and I made him a candy bar poster.  I took this photo before I let Caldwell color all over it, which I knew Chris would love because Chris is all about our two boys.  
 For 2 months out of the year Chris is 8 years older than me.  I always tease him about being so much older, so this cake that Caldwell and I found on Pinterest was perfect.  Plus Cald was all about the dirt and worms. 
 I didn't get a picture of Chris on his birthday but this was just a few days prior when we went downtown with family from Connecticut to see temple square.  It's a great photo to post for this birthday because it accurately portrays the season we are in.  Faith and family are the two most important things to Chris and for that I am very grateful! 

The following are links to Chris other birthday posts....

Monday, August 14, 2017

Basement - Before & After...

I just found the folder of the before photo's I took of our house.  The before photo's I have posted so far were from the listing and I have been too lazy to go find more.  This afternoon I found them and have been overwhelmed looking at everything we've done.  This place was a mess when we bought it. In fact, looking back, I'm wondering what we were thinking.  I'm excited to get these posted so I have them archived for Chris and I to look back on.

These are photo's of the basement.  Which doesn't look too bad, but just be glad you can't smell them. When we looked at the house they had masked the dog smell really well.  We knew there had been dogs in the basement, but little did we know that the basement was actually just the dog house.

We hired a carpet cleaner who came and looked at the place prior to cleaning.  He told us that the dog pee didn't seem that bad and if he cleaned them well the smell would go away.  So we hired him and then quickly regretted that decision. 

 Chris went down and started pulling up the carpet because we just couldn't handle it any longer.  This is what we found.  This isn't even the worst portion of carpet.  Chris had a face mask on and would go outside and dry heave and then come back in and pull out more.  We just piled it up on the back lawn and our sweet neighbor came over and offered up his trailer to haul it to the dump.  
Then the popcorn ceiling removal began.  Because popcorn ceilings can contain asbestos and give you cancer, we had to dig a small sample off and send it off to California before starting this project.  I think it cost about $75, but since we were living there with just Caldwell at the time, it felt important to not kill us all off from cancer.  We used a weed sprayer with soapy warm water and sprayed and scraped. 
 I'm grateful now there was no carpet for cleanup because that popcorn stuff sticks to everything, including the walls. 
 The ceiling was really rough when we finally finished, which didn't worry us because we knew we were going to texture it ourselves, but looking back maybe we could have made it smoother, so the texture went on easier. As the ceiling looks way better than popcorn, but still has some spots that look rough to me.  I think it's one of those things that bothers me just because I did it, but no one else would notice.

By the time we got to painting the basement, I was so sick of painting.  I had already painted the entire upstairs and was over it.  We just rented a paint sprayer and went with white everywhere.  I initially wanted two-tone, but the white brightened things up so much I don't even care anymore. 

Here are a few of the after pictures.  I have some more I will post of more angles, but Mason is waking up so I need to finish this. 
 My brother was giving away these couches and we scooped them up for free!

I haven't hung anything on the walls, and it's basically just toy central down there.  It's crazy to think when Chris was pulling out that stinky carpet, we didn't even know Mason was going to be a part of our family and now here he is, in his element.  I can't wait to watch the basement evolve.  If for some reason this house is our forever home (I sort of hope not) but it's okay if it is.  I know this basement will become more and more useful as the kids get older.  

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Kitchen - Before & After....

The kitchen has actually been the room we've spent the least amount of time on.  Although it was just a couple week's a go that I decided to paint the walls.  The reality is the kitchen is somewhat new in comparison to much of the house, so even though I want to do re-do everything it's just not going to happen for awhile.  Chris and I have talked about painting the cabinets, but since we eventually want to rip them out we haven't done it yet.  Although I'm starting to get the motivation, especially since there are so few.

The long term plans for the kitchen are too long to spell out.  I have so many grand ideas and the reality is we are not sure if this will be our forever home or not.  It bothers me that the sink isn't directly under the window and that that sliding glass door is used for nothing other than little boy finger prints, but for now it works great.  The short list of updates I'd like to move forward with

1. New light fixtures
2. Paint cabinets (still debating)
3. Vent hole (not pictured) repaired
4. Oven handle fixed
5. New kitchen chairs (I am fine with my yard sale table, it's the perfect fit.  However, the chairs are falling apart.)
6.  Molding near the door to the basement updated.