Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer Activities

I'm loving staying home with the girls for a while, but one of my biggest challenges has been keep Stella busy.  She'll say, "that will make me boring".  Gotta love the phrasing of 3 year olds!

A friend of mine posted a list of some summer activities she hopes to do with her girls and I've gotten some ideas from Pinterest (which I'm completely addicted to!).  Here's our list, we'll see how many we can check off by the time I have to go back to school.  (Boo hoo) I made a pdf, but I don't know how to post it here. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

One of our fireplaces

Why is it that I never come up with witty titles?  Ah well...

Jim's been working SO hard in the front yard.  We plan on redoing both yards this summer and I need to get moving on our back patio.  I've had new furniture for 2 weeks that I haven't taken out of the box!  But I also have my eye on some things inside...

The folks at Young House Love just did a mini revamp of their fireplace and now I have an itch to work on one of ours.  We have two in this house which I consider crazy awesome!  Our last house was a new home in a development and had one of those cut outs for your TV above the fireplace.  I thought I'd like it when we first bought the house and it was nice not to have to have a piece of furniture for the TV, but I soon realized that meant no mantel to decorate!  I saw so many pretty ones online and there was nothing I could really do with ours.  Now I have TWO to decorate and I'm kind of lost.  The one I want to work on first it HUGE.  One is wood burning which we love and used a ton this winter.  The other is non-functional at the moment, but when we reno the room we'll convert it to gas.  Until then, I want to do a little something to lighten/brighten it up.  We don't like the huge mantel as it is but aren't too sure what we can do now.  Here's a picture of our wall o' brick now and the fireplace.
I know the popular thing to do right now is to paint brick white but that's not going to happen.  While I agree that this is brick overkill and really darkens the room, we do like some brick.  It's one of the reasons we wanted an older house, they just don't do things like this in the new development houses.  When we redo this room with the kitchen and dining room someday we have plans to have built-ins built in front fo the brick.  The bottom will be completely closed in with white cabinets while on top there will be shelving and lights with some of the brick showing behind the shelves.

I AM thinking I'd like to paint the wood though.  We don't like it and as I said it's so dark in here.  I tried to do a bit of photoshop work to see what it would look like but it was a mess.  The big issue is I'm not sure I'll like the brick on the inside of the mantel once it's painted white.  So... I thought maybe I could do some type of panels painted white.  This is Layla and Kevin's from The Lettered Cottage.  Can you believe that there's is all brick under that beautiful white paneling?  Whatever I do must be easily removed since as I said, we'll be removing it when we do the "real" renovations. 
Jim's not a big fan of me doing any of this... What do you all think?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Letters to my girls

When Jim and I decided to try to get pregnant I decided I wanted to write letters to the little one.  The first letter is dated April 1, 2003!  We were coming up on our 3rd anniversary.  It's crazy to think that's when this all started...  The next letter is dated July 16, 2007 and I was (finally) pregnant with Stella.  This isn't in any way relevant, it just somehow reminded me of how long and hard we worked to have these little ones in our lives!  If we'd gotten pregnant then we'd have a ten year old!

Anyway, back to the letters.  As with so many other things, I had the best of intentions, but then you get busy with life and the letters have suffered.  I haven't written to Stella in ages, and I've never written one to Lucy.  How sad!  The other day while I was watching TV I saw a commercial that's about to change it all (I hope).  It showed emails a man had written his daughter starting with when she was born.  The really cool thing is that you can include pictures and videos!  So this morning I started an email account for each girl and will email them letters for them to read when they're grown.  Can you imagine being 18 or whenever I tell them and going back to read letters, see pictures, watch videos that your parents sent you throughout your childhood?  I think it will be amazing.  Granted there's something about a hand written letter, but they'll still get some of those and I think it's worth the trade-off.  This way I can write whenever I want.  I can do it from school at the end of the day, from my phone, etc.

Some of the first pictures I send them will surely be from our little "photoshoot" last Sunday.  We've had some sessions scheduled, and 3 times we've had to change them!  For now, Stella is too small to hold Lucy, and Lucy doesn't do much except lay there.  It makes outdoor pictures a bit tough.  My mom and I thought we'd give it a try and had the whole thing planned out with props and all.  Several hours and many setbacks later we finally got to a park and thought things would improve... they did not.  One thing after another went "wrong" and we laughed until we cried.  We didn't get any pictures that I love from a photography point, but there are so many I love because they capture the day and the fun that we had.  I'll take that over a session with beautiful pictures anytime!  Here are a couple: 

Yeah, I tried to get the "feet" shot...  it's ok, but nothing like I'd envisioned.
Since Stella can't hold Lucy I thought we could prop her up sitting.  This resulted in choke holds, hands on both sides of Lucy's head like a vice, and I think some fingers to the eyes.  There were also a ton of laughs with this one.  Both girls were SUCH great sports about it!
We finally got Lucy to pick her head up but you can tell she's still not too happy with us.  When I first put her down she just face planted and kicked her little feet screaming.  More hysterical laughing from my mom and I.  I think we were crying by now and there may have been a few ever so charming snorts by one or both of us.
Jim liked the flower pictures, but he also said, "you can tell she was being a stinker."  This was the last attempt and she'd had quite enough.  She was still trying to be good though, what a sweet sweet girl.

Jim took Stella to the Father Daugther dance for the second year this past weekend.  They got to take the big truck after they washed it together which was a big deal to Stella.  I wanted a picture of Jim with both of his girls and Stella just HAD to be touching both of them.  This one just makes my heart all warm and gooey!

Nothing eventful about this one, just a little glimpse of Lucy being entertained by Stella.  For some reason, I just love this one though!

So, the quest for that perfect picture continues.  We do still have two mini sessions with two different people waiting in the wings.  I think we'll wait until the fall when Lucy can sit up herself.  I can't wait to see what the professionals can come up with!