Family Room- This or That?

I want to show you some progress when it comes to decorating our house. And for the life of me I can’t seem to finish spaces and actually get a room 100% complete. Why? Because it’s those finishing touches that I can’t pull the trigger on to get it finished. So, I’m hoping if you can help me decide then, maybe just maybe we can get a room done. Just one. And then maybe we can work on another one.

Here is our family room. At least the part you need to be concerned about. (I’m standing in the beginning of our kitchen.)


FamilyRoom2

What you can’t see is our old tv stand and tv (dead left) and the fireplace (which is on an angle next to our three windows). 

The fireplace will be whitewashed as soon as we get a quote back and can get it scheduled. The tv is getting a new stand.

So, the end tables are going away. And the lamps are going to the living room.

Here are my thoughts.  Concern yourself with that corner which is the eye sore.

One new end table next to the couch.

This one? via

world market end table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or that one? via

west elm side table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One new lamp behind the chair.

This one? Via

west elm lamp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or that one? via

target lam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And this print diptych print from etsy will go behind the chair as well.

via

etsy chicago art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, what do you say? Thoughts?

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Currently

Currently…

enjoying: the feeling that comes as fall has rushed it’s way in to our house. The decorations, smells, excitement over Halloween and the comfort that lazy mornings in bed with hot coffee bring to our routine. As much as I love Christmas, something about fall screams family to me and quiet memories.

dreaming: about the day that I feel like I have been enough to everyone and have a tank left to nurture myself.  Seriously, the quest to be it all is not easy and a consistent battle in my head.

loving: the series on A Bowl Full of Lemons which is 31 Days of Purging in October. 2 days in I was in good shape. Not so much anymore but I that hasn’t stopped me from saving a list of her purge day tasks in my feedly so I can complete each of them. Today, it is all about dresser drawers which may have to be tackled this weekend but I feel lighter already and know I need to do this.

 watching: leaves fall off the trees as fall has quickly arrived.  Cate declares that it is raining leaves and I watch my little girl in amazement of the crisp leaves fall off the trees on the street. Three is magical and monsterful all at once.

reading: any magazine that is getting delivered to my house. I am obsessed with Food and Wine and the minute my HGTV magazine shows up I am reading it.  I love Women’s Health, Real Simple, Rachel Ray, Cooking Light and Self. Tell me that I am not the only one that doesn’t love a new magazine curled up on the couch.

quoting:  nothing but Brady on repeat is quoting the guys from Monday night football who says “Come On Man” when going over the weekend lows from the NFL. The best part is that he says the statement in the right context every single time which is ever funnier.

thinking: about trying to carve out some time with people that mean a lot to me.  From my kids, to my husband, my mom and my friends I’m really evaluating how I spend my time and with who and hoping to be more intentional with my time.  Life seems to be at NASCAR race pace and since I don’t think it will let up I want to do what’s in my power to make sure that I spending my time with intention and purpose.

 drinking: lots of water including La Croix which is starting to win me over. It’s an acquired taste but I do like it to break up the monotony of the water I drink on a daily basis.

craving: my mama’s fresh, piping hot vegetable soup with crusty bread that just came out of the oven. Fall signals soups for days in my mind and I’m not picky about what kind.  We’re having homemade chicken noodle last nightt which is good start to soup season in my opinion.

listening to: anything that Sam Smith sings. Not surprising since I love Adele and some claim he is the male version of her. “Make it to Me” is constantly on repeat in my brain.

 

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Monday Ramblings

Well, I guess there is no time like now to start blogging again or at least get this one post up. I don’ think it is a coincidence that I pretty much stop blogging in the spring and summer when I find myself outside more than in and embracing being a mom more than surfing the internet.

I have lots of topics to talk to you about namely Brady not going to kindergarten, our kitchen renovation I still haven’t shared, Cate’s third birthday and others.  But, let’s give you a quick Monday update for now in the hopes that I blog again soon with some good stuff.

  • School started for students on August 25th.  Brady went on an antibiotic for strep August 22nd only to get it again coupled with a double ear infection two days after her finished a ten day cycle of amoxicillin. He finished the meds yesterday.  Cate came off meds for a double ear infection on Friday and got the STOMACH FLU yesterday. I can’t make this up. On the upside, so far we have steered clear of that respiratory virus that is plaguing the rest of the country.
  • Do you read the Skimm? I mean how can you not? It is the easiest read each morning and has totally made me understand the happenings in the world? I appreciate the way it is laid out and how fast, focused and many topics are touched on. Subscribe. It’s easy.
  • I am teaching on the overload this fall and covering a maternity leave for part of it. My bank account loves me. My watch hates me.  Talk about having to be organized.
  • Cate turned 3 and Brady turns 5 in less than a month.  Holy cow is life flying by…
  • I checked off something on my bucket list by seeing Garth Brooks last weekend. He is an amazing entertainer and I would go again if I could.

Hope Monday isn’t too cruel to you. I am home with Cate and just glad that I haven’t seen puke in over 18 hours.

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Summer Memories

Dear Brady and Cate,

Boop Boop Hallo! Well, it’s here.  The day where schedules change, wake-ups are forced and earlier and I no longer get to spend my days with you.  I want to tell you some things while I remember them about this summer while it feels fresh and real in my head.

B&CPark

First of all, I want to thank you for letting me be your mama this summer. I had so much fun.  You two are the best of friends for the most part and it was humbling to watch you play, hug, love and occasionally fight.  I want to remember how slow the mornings were. Each morning I sat with coffee in my mug and stared as you watched Curious George together side by side on the couch until your bellies rumbled.  I want to remember how many parks we played at and how many days we ate ice cream before dinner.  I will remember the lazy days where we swam with friends, ate dinner outside and managed to stay up way to late.  I will be grateful for all the days I got to throw pitches for hours and the insane amount of times I was asked to put the baby’s diaper back on.

I may go back to work today as a high school teacher but it is no way shape of form what defines me any longer.  This summer I have done a lot of soul searching and I keep coming to the conclusion that I was meant to be your mama. You two are my purpose.  You are the tipping point on tough decisions and the easy answer when people ask me what drives me.

Brady this summer you went from baby to boy.  Inevitably it was going to happen and this summer you morphed in to a little boy who wants nothing more than to be outside playing baseball, or tennis or soccer or any other sport the boys on the block are playing.  You are athletic and tall and competitive.  You play with anyone and love to just be in the game.  You showed us that your energy has no end and one of my proudest moments was when  you didn’t want to leave a soccer game on the block where you were the youngest by years because you just wanted to score a goal.  You learned to ride a bike this summer and those training wheels may just be off before it gets cold.  You’re still timid, which you’ve always been, but you conquered your fear of the pole at the park and the slide at the pool.  You love to be at the beach and the pool even though the water is still not your favorite.  I will never forget the way you run the bases after you hit a ball and the smile you crack when you score a goal.

Cate you have taken a big turn for the better little girl.  You are growing faster in size than you ever have and yet your personality is what’s shining this summer. You will go anywhere, do anything and have no fear.  I will never forget the smile on your face as you rode a big kid ride at Northbrook Days or the way you swing like there is no other place you would rather be.  You love to ride your big wheel and fly down the hills with your feet up high in the air.  You are happy, hilarious and your memory is scary.  You idolize your brother more than ever having spent the summer with him.  You antagonize him and call him “Brade” with that devilish grin we have come to know as your look.

I keep telling people this summer was quiet, uneventful and yet still so perfect.  I will remember rocking out to Katie Perry in the car one minute and Cate shouting “drink a beer” whenever the song came on the next.  I will remember the quiet mornings at the beach and Brady your first road trip to stay with Mimi and PawPaw.  I will remember this being the first summer that I felt comfortable in my title as mom and our life in the suburbs.

Here’s to a great year and looking forward to the next one coming.  If this summer is any indication, it’s gonna be good.

I love monkeys,

Mama
BradyPark

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Contentment

As much as I am a glass half real or empty girl, I find myself lately being really content with me, my life and and the life I am living.  I am starting to realize, with age I swear, that life is really what you make of it- doing what you makes you happy not what you are supposed to be doing or someone else says is right.

Coming in to the summer I was so full of lists that needed to be checked off, full of fear for the days that my kids would be home and need my attention all day and the monotony that comes with being a full time mom who doesn’t go to work.

And those lists are still long with really very little checked off.  And, I am okay with it.  More than okay with it.  Because I have spent every day this summer just being here, around and present with the three people that make me who I am and better every single day.  I haven’t picked up my laptop much. Our internet has been spotty thanks to some squirrels which has probably helped.  And if I am keeping it real, the list got shorter this weekend after a visit from my parents.  But still, summer has been lovely for the most part.

The fear has evaporated and I even think I have enjoyed most of this summer with my kids.  There are challenges with two under five but the sweet moments are the best and outnumber the bad by a lot.  And when Cate asks me to play baby again with her I say yes because that is what I want to be doing in that moment.  And when Brady asks me to pitch to him AGAIN, I do, because both of us wait all year for the days when playing baseball and riding bikes are our biggest events.

Brady Race

We are lazily spending days swimming, barbequing with friends, sipping cold beers and eating ice cream before dinner.  We stay in our jammies until the last possible moment and I find myself refilling my coffee cup more than I thought was ever possible in a morning.  Actually getting to enjoy my coffee and read the news.    Life is actually manageable and enjoyable with two kids under the age of five.  All of this comes at a price.  I am not constantly running errands, our house does not have some much needed updates and organization that I need to get done and I am not as thin as I would like to be.  But, I am here and I am happy.  Content.  No longer wanting more, worried about what I’m not doing.  Insted I’m  just being me and doing what I do.

Cate

When I think about my kids, I want them to remember the summer days and what we did. The mornings we were covered in sand and had to take baths before picnic lunches in our living room.  The afternoons we went to the self-serve place and got gummy bears before we ate dinner.   Not the picture I bought or the pounds I lost. I am content.  And here. And happy.  (Stay tuned. More posts coming.)

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Five Things on Friday

Hey Friends! If you are still reading, then you are probably well aware of everything that is currently going in on my life but hey- for the few of you that don’ t know I thought I would give you some quick updates on the last Friday of May.

  • Our kitchen is done. I mean the renovation is complete.  We still have a lot of wall art to buy and decorating to do but we know longer have people in our house working and have a fully functional kitchen.  The transformation is amazing and I can’t wait to show you some pictures.
  • On that note, I am currently enrolled in this class and one of the lovely instructors Amy and I had a phone conversation this weekend after I told her my frustrations with being able to focus when I used my 50mm lens.  After some looking at my settings and answering questions we determined that it might not be user error after all. I have the wrong lens. One that is no compatible with my camera body. Who knew?  A new lens is on its way and my old one is for sale.
  • I am turning 35 this weekend and for the first time in a long time I am okay with getting older.  Maybe it’s because I finally have accepted that getting older means understanding I understand who I am more and that with each year I am watching my family grow and stretch making me prouder to have the title of mother regardless of the age I am.
  • Have you seen the summer reading list from Amazon? I am pretty sure I will accomplish this task because I read voraciously in the summer. Also, I started watching Ray Donovan on HBO and love it.  I’m pretty excited Season 2 is starting since I just catching up on the first one.  I’m obsessed with JoJo Moyes and can’t put down “Reconstructing Amelia”.  Not to mention I have quite a few books for school I need dive in to as well
  • Long story short, we had pictures taken in Florida and I was unhappy with them.  Just not up to my standards.  So, like any consumer I vocalized my complaint to her and she gave me a partial refund.  Truth be told, when I showed her the flaws, I think she realized I had done my research and my concerns were valid. We salvaged a couple but I am now desparate to remedy my mom’s Christmas present so I’m on the hunt for a family photographer that is reasonably priced.                                                                     B&CFL

 

  • FamilyFL

Graduation, sunshine and a weekend after a short week.  Hope you have a great week. Stick around and you just may see some pictures of my kitchen.

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Hello Monday {2}

Happy Monday Friends! Hope you had a great Mother’s Day weekend.  The weather was spectacular here which makes a weekend like this even better.

Hello four weeks of school and a week of finals before it is finally summer vacation.  Between the polar vortex and days off this school year feels long and the kids are as ready to be done as I am.  I can see the finish line which is a great motivator.

via

Hello a kitchen that is almost done.  We are waiting on our island which should be here this week or maybe next but regardless we have running water, a functioning fridge and place to eat.

Hello a week of recovery for a woman I love dearly.  After scary news and an unknown future my heart is lighter this week knowing that the prognosis is good given the circumstance.  Oh cancer you are such an awful part of this world we live in.

via

Hello to warmer weather and hopefully not having to wear our winter coats any more this year.  We had to wear them last week and that was zero fun. Hoping that is past us.

Hello to seeing my two best girls this weekend. It is so hard to coordinate our schedules but it is so worth it when it happens and I have a feeling it will be a motivator to get this week over.

Hello Monday! Let’s do this.

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Our Kitchen- “The Before”

When we were looking to move, I knew that we were going to need to do work to almost any house we bought if we wanted to live in our targeted location.  I was thinking almost a complete gut job would be necessary in a couple of the homes we looked at even thought that was the last thing we (meaning Glenn) wanted to do.   When we bought our house we were pleasantly surprised that the kitchen was updated.  We didn’t pay too much attention to it.  It had newer stainless steel appliances and granite countertops.  I know we talked about the size since it was smaller and some potential issues but there wasn’t a deal breaker and it didn’t stop us from buying our house.

I knew a kitchen remodel would be in our future.  I didn’t realize how necessary it would become and how dysfunctional our kitchen actually is our daily use of it.

The dishwasher doesn’t fully open because it is located too close to the stove.  (Seriously?)

DSC_0998

There is little functional counter space and lots of dead counter space.

The fridge is fine but bending over has caused us to hit our heads one too many times.

The pantry is shallow and the shelves are all one size.

pantry

The floor tiles are separating and gross.

Tile

Below are some of the pics from the realty website where our house was listed.

before

 

There is a narrow walkway that is the only way from the front of our house (the bathroom) and our kitchen and to our family room.

 

before2

 

There is no lighting above our table and the flow is weird from the kitchen to eating area.

 

 

before3

I realize a lot of this makes me sound spoiled and ridiculous but these are big things to our family and our long term home since I firmly believe and remember from my own childhood that the heart of our house was and still is the kitchen.  A gathering space.  A homework place.  And the room in our house used the most.

So, while we were soaking up the sun as a family in Florida on spring break, the demolition began.  Want to see the pics of what it looks like now? It’s coming soon!

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Currently v.3

enjoying: the feeling of getting a great workout in and following such inspiring people on Instagram. Fitness was/is such a big part of my life and I am glad it is slowly creeping back in.  So much so that I am researching the Whole30 and trying to make some major food changes when our kitchen renovation is done.

dreaming: about our kitchen renovation being done, long nights outdoors on our block, and the smell of grills in use and sweaty and sun kissed skin

loving: the enthusiasm Brady is showing for organized sports, Chicago sports and being involved in athletics

watching: The Amazing Race All Stars, Grey’s Anatomy and GAME OF THRONES (OMG Joffrey)

reading: I just finished Night Road by Kristin Hannah and literally cried through most of it.  Maybe because I see myself in the mother or because the plot centers on my biggest fear which is something happening to my kids.  I followed it up with Me Before You and found myself sobbing most of the way.  I am thinking I need an uplifting book next. Any ideas?

quoting:  my yoga instructor from Tuesday night when she asked us to set an intention for our practice. “Your mat is your space and it may be our only time alone- set intention. Be selfish and spend this time on you.” I am saying this daily at some point each day even if it while I take a couple sips of coffee alone in my office while doing nothing.   

Thinking: I need to get some things done around our house.  I need to decide on some colors to accent our new kitchen, start planning Brady’s new room and working on our outside.

eating: carrots, cliff bars, fresh fruit and yogurt and yes take out

drinking: skinny mochas or skinny vanilla lattes from starbucks since our kitchen in under construction and our coffee maker is not available for use.  I have missed my old friend Starbucks but not as much as I thought I would. 

craving: some time with friends, some time alone and a home cooked meal

listening to: Pompeii by Bastille and belting it out with kids in the car every morning. Totally my therapy right now.

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Cate {2.5 Years}

Dear Bug,

I was putting you to bed last night when I remembered for the second short moment yesterday that it was your ½ birthday.  You are officially on your way to three which is unbelievable to me.

For some reason, out of nowhere bedtime has become hard and you wake up even more upset.  Milestones may be the reason but last night you just couldn’t settle in. So, I came up and you said “wrock peas for a minute” and I happily sat down with you.  And before I could even settle in the slow, rhythmic motion our glider provides, you had burrowed your hands under your belly against my chest and you were sleeping.  The shallow breaths allowed me to smell you and take you in yet when I placed you in your crib you awoke and said “good night” and I remembered just how big you are getting even though you felt so small in that moment before.  I think it ‘s because I know your sleeping in a crib is the last piece of baby left and I just want to hang on for a bit.

What you lack in physical size you have in personality.  You are bigger than life sweet girl and it is incredible to watch.  Like I said, you are oh so little.  Eating like crazy and gaining nothing. People comment on it and your dad and I just laugh.  Your little bird legs are adorable now but I’m guessing a few years from now they will make your daddy gray quicker than ever.  You are fiesty and fierce.  And you know exactly how to get what you want.  And just a few weeks ago you got glasses.  I guess we should have known since your eyes profusely water at night but we in true fashion, thought it was just you being different, unique as I call it.  But, no, you actually have some real difficulty seeing and so glasses it is for now to help.  I was terrified as your mama- worried that you would be teased, kids would laugh knowing how cruel girls are but everyone including your daddy and your teachers knew you would be great.  And you have been. We put them “night-night” when we sing before bed and “wake them up” in the morning.  And just recently, we convinced you that big girls not only wear glasses but ponytails and those two things might just be the cutest combination ever. And undies. But well, we haven’t tackled that yet.
Bug1

Your vocabulary is incredible and your voice is always heard. I am amazed at your memory.  What I am in awe of the most is your love for your brother.  He sees it as an annoyance, but your daddy and I watch you so frequently and smile at the little girl you are becoming.  Deeply worried about him, always offering and asking to play and conceding to cook with me when he says no.  Keep trying bug.  Keep taking care of him okay Cate? He needs it.  He’s sensitive, shy and passive.  He’s going to need you as much as you want him right now.  He is your gentle in the fury.  And you are his protector.  You are so differnt yet so similar and I think you have already taught him a lot. Your fearlessness is teaching him it’s okay to try and his rule following keeps you aware of what dangers are around.

I love you sweet girl.  I love you so stinkin much.  Stay little big girl.

Bug2

Love,

Mama

 

 

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