Monday, September 30, 2013

Gettin' Settled In Our New Home

Well I ABSOLUTELY LOVE our new house! It's a 3 bed/2 bath home in our hometown.

We are 3 miles from my parents, walking distance to the pharmacy and Sprout's, and we have the most unbelievable walking trails practically in our backyard.

Best of all, it is OURS. We can make it look exactly how we want. We are owners for the first time, and it feels REALLY great knowing each monthly payment is going toward our investment, rather than paying our landlord's mortgage + salary.

The FIRST thing we did was SMUDGE.
The belief is that smudging eliminates ALL energy, good and bad, in a space. We wanted to claim the space as new, as ours, and as a blank canvas for us to create our own memories here. Free of previous energy, good or bad, and free of spooky ghosts. Hehehe. I'm really glad we didn't end up with the original house we were under contract for, because somebody died in there, and I think I would've been freaked out knowing he left behind some angry family members.


We had a crew come in and remove ALL THE POPCORN CEILING TEXTURE. This was George's request. It really bugged him. And I think it was a good call, because it's SUCH a mess, that if you're gonna do it, you really should before all your stuff is moved in. Our house looked like an episode of Dexter and was unlivable for about 3 days while they removed the 80's texture, and added a smooth texture/painted the ceilings.

MAIN BATHROOM

Nothing awful, just very white and neutral.

Painted ceiling a light teal.

B&A
Walls painted, shower curtain up!


The GUEST room was a catch-all room for a couple weeks. It looked like this:

(and now, with curtains and a desk/bookshelf, looks like this....still need a futon and a corner desk though!)




LILAH GRACE'S ROOM...

The inspiration colors were rose gold, pink, and cream. 
The mirror, rocker, and shelf are from my parents (my mom and dad used to rock me in that rocker!), the Picasso print is from G's aunt, the changing table/dresser was a slightly used-online find for $50!!, and the crib was gifted to us by a friend in our Dave Ramsey Financial Peace class. Yours TRULY assembled the crib!!! QUITE the accomplishment! We purchased new blinds, new curtain rod, and repurposed some sheer gauzy white curtains. 





THE KITCHEN.
(I think this is the most important room in the house!)

Taking Measurements
(BEFORE)
Got a new microwave/range! Painted cabinets mint! Since this photo was taken, we also added hardware! I found the hardware online and got a FANTASTIC deal! 


We replaced both lights (fluorescent light to track lighting, and a box light to a stained glass drop light). Also replaced the sink faucet/grocery sprayer. Those were online finds and never used, just opened from the box. Also replaced the blinds in the kitchen. Since this photo was taken, we also hung curtains/valence. 




This is a close-up of our new rug in the kitchen. I LOVE the colors in this rug!
 


Glass knobs :)

LG loves the new valence, hehehe!



LIVING ROOM.

We hung up a gallery wall, and placed our furniture. We mounted the TV, and started spinning our favorite vinyls again. Other than the popcorn ceiling removal, we really didn't renovate here!!
I love gallery walls. I had one in Keller, Grapevine, and now here in our new home! Anybody who has one knows that it is an expression of what is important to the people living in the home! Ours has Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, references to Bob Dylan, John Lennon, and Louis Armstrong, Famous artists/scientists/philosophers on a timeline of the world, a photo AND personalized oil painting from my time spent in New Zealand, butterflies (powerful symbol of rebirth and new life), and my alma mater (University of Oklahoma, BOOMER SOONER!), to name a few. 



MASTER BEDROOM.
Like the rest of the house, the popcorn ceiling came down, and new texture/paint went up. We had them paint the ceiling a shade lighter than the walls, and went with a color in the indigo family. We wanted a dark, serene, cool room to relax in.

This room still needs some work! We've been busy with all the other projects!!!! 


EXTERIOR.
Before
After. Still working on this!
My sweet dad helped me tackle the yard on a day when George was traveling for business, so I could surprise him when he came home! We had NO grass, and a ridiculous amount of stickers. We mowed it down to the ground, put out seed, organic soil, and started watering DAILY. I continue to mow weekly. I even edged (in wedges, thank you very much) yesterday. This is the first impression of our house. Also, now that we own the house, we take more pride in our front yard, and don't want the other home values to decrease as a result of our negligence/laziness. We will eventually landscape, too, but all in good time.


Being a homeowner is SO MUCH FUN! I can't get enough of Home Depot! I'm so grateful to my parents for their help getting us IN this house (and finding it!!) and to my hard-working husband for keeping the roof over our heads!

xoxo,
L











Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Letter to Lilah (4 1/2 months old)


You're resting like an angel now. You don't like the moment of separation when I peel you from my arms and lay you down in your crib. After some whimpering, you begin to self soothe. It's every bit as hard on me as it is on you. You started saying "mamama" very clearly last week, and it pulls at my heart strings BIG TIME. I know it won't be long until you're saying "Mama" with intention. 

I spoke to you when you were in my tummy as often as I speak to you now. I know you understand me on some level, but I also know you won't remember these days. I'm not sure how far back my memory goes, but I think I vaguely remember some events that happened around my third year of life. I remember my sister being born and giving me a gift from the Toys R Us my mom must have had up in her womb, and I remember Chloe the Clown coming to my third birthday party. Most of my memory is attached to the photos from these events. 

I try to document and preserve much of our time now, and hope you cherish these photos for years to come. I promise you a scrapbook of important events, and the fun daily adventures. Online is just so much easier. Mama doesn't have a crafting desk yet, and I'm so busy cleaning up messes all day, I'd rather not create one in this moment! 

Everyday except Tuesday and Thursday, we wake up when Daddy wakes up. You snuggle and smile with him before he goes to work. 


You've been waking up in our bed every morning, because you still don't sleep through the night yet. I don't mind. You did great last night...went a full 7 hours! When you woke up at 3:30, I just nursed you in our bed and we all slept together after. 

When we get up, we change your diaper, and Mama gets her coffee. You and I watch Doc McStuffins or Sesame Street while Mama wakes up. Sometimes I multi-task if you look interested in the show...I'll check my e-mails, pay some bills, or make some phonecalls. I am so grateful your dad works hard everyday so I don't have to go to MY work everyday, but I want you to know I work hard in the home, too. It takes a lot of time and effort to reduce medical bills, eliminate deposits, change insurance, etc...and I enjoy it. Some parents have to maintain the home AND work full time, and they deserve a badge of honor.

I nurse you again, and then put you down for your morning nap sometime around 8:30. 


Whenever you wake up, you greet me with a huge grin and you are chattin' it up! I scoop you up, kiss you all over, and bring you to the mirror. We play for a couple of minutes, and then go for a walk. We walk everyday. You absolutely love being outside. TODAY was the first time we fed the ducks. You liked squeezing the bread between your hands. You're really into your hands, lately. You like scratching the sheets, and grabbing my hair and face. You like grabbing everything, actually, and trying to put it in your mouth. Between that and the drool, I do believe you're teething, little lady!






A turtle heard through the grapevine about our feeding sesh, and made an appearance.



When we come home, I put you in your Bumbo seat (which you no longer fit in, actually. One leg is always poking out!) and feed you. You're eating 1/2 rice cereal, and 1/2 pureed organic babyfood. Over the past couple weeks, you've had a range of fruits and veggies! Sweet potatoes, apples, pears, bananas, peas, and carrots. It's fun watching you eat. You're still pretty messy. About half of the food makes it in. The doctor says feeding you only serves one purpose, which is speech/motor development. All the nutrition you need still comes from me. I like feeling like we are still interdependent. When I was pregnant with you, I was very aware of our connectedness, and I tap into it everytime we nurse. I dread the day we start weaning...


After eating, we read a couple of books. Your favorites right now are "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" and "Brown Bear, Brown Bear." You also really like Fancy Nancy (I think it's the glitter!). 

I nurse you again, and put you down for your next nap. I know you probably hate how often I ask you to sleep, but you are in the best mood when you wake up, and I know sleep is important for you right now. It also will help you sleep through the night...eventually...





When you wake up, I have already eaten my lunch, but I want to make sure you're not hungry. I'll usually let you nurse again. Or a bottle! Then, lately, we have been going to the pool. You LOVE getting in your boat that Binky gave you! And just floating around like you own the place! We are the only two people that go swimming in this apartment complex pool. Literally. It's very nice. We walk on over, help ourselves through the gate, and spend some time playing in the water. The weather is cooling off more now, so I don't know what we'll do in lieu of swimming! I'll figure out something. But I'm sure we will be outside until it gets cold in winter. You love looking at the trees.

You go with me everywhere! We both love the sling. 
Pool-bound

I really wish we had a swing outside. This is on Mama's wishlist. You LOVE the swing at your Binky and Papa John's house. I want to be able to swing with you in our backyard, too.

If we HAVE to run errands, it is in between your naps. And if you get hungry, I don't mind feeding you discreetly. I found this comfy chair at the cafe in Barnes and Noble, and treated myself to a pumpkin cheesecake and pumpkin spice latte. After you nursed, you fell sound asleep in my lap. We just hung out for about 30 minutes. It was blissful. I am very grateful to you for millions of reasons...but one of those reasons, is that you've slowed me down. I usually don't look at a clock, except for your bedtime. I only know what's coming next. You've been like good medicine for me, sweet baby!

When we are outside, we lay out blankets and sit down to talk and play. If I catch you staring at a big tree or a bench, I walk toward it and let you get out to see it. You're very observant, and do a great job of communicating with your thoughtful facial expressions.
(All that, and, ultimately, I get you. We made you. I grew you. I'd say I understand what you want 90% of the time, which is pretty awesome seeing as how we don't speak the same language yet.)

After the pool, or walk, or whatever it is we just did, we come home, and play. You are finally big enough to enjoy this big girl toy! You like it that your feet barely touch the bottom, and you can kind of start to bounce! Your hands and eyes are preoccupied with the toys attached to the tray. You also are entertained by watching the animals. Your favorite is Stella. She is crazy about you.


You also still like this playmat! You can sit alone, but only for about 3 seconds...I never leave you unattended! Soon you'll be sitting all by yourself for extended periods of time. You're growing up so fast!!

We usually read more books, and nurse again if you're hungry. Then you go down for your last nap.

When you wake up, we eat again. You eat "food" twice a day. We eat the same food you ate in the morning, to keep it consistent. We are seeing which foods you tolerate and like! So far, not a big fan of peas. You really liked sweet potatoes. I couldn't tell a difference with the fruit; you were open to all of them. We usually go on another walk, and play some more. Daddy comes home from work, and you get to play with him. If he comes home early enough, he even feeds you sometimes. Then, you're a good girl while Mama and Daddy eat their dinner. Finally, I give you a bath around 7:45. We play in the tub. You love your bath toy. You like kicking and making waves in the tub. You still are in the little carrier you had as a newborn, but I know it won't be long until you're in a floatable ring! Sometimes you try to nurse in the bath, since I'm in there with you. Ask me if I mind. Hehehe.

Not too sure about this baby food business!!!!

Your daddy misses you so much when he works during the day. Someday, you'll understand that he is every bit as important as Mama. Without him, I'd have to leave you everyday, too. Not only does he work hard for us, he also is very loving and attentive. He likes spending time with you! Not many daddies out there are good at providing AND nurturing. But Mama is a smart cookie, and she picked us out a good man. You're welcome.
:)
You just LOVE checkin' us out in the mirror! We spend many minutes throughout the day making faces at eachother. I also love blowing in your neck and making you laugh. YOUR LAUGH is the cutest sound I've ever heard. Ever.

We usually wrap up in a towel together after bathtime. Then I rub you down with lotion, don a new diaper, and get you in your sleepsack.
Another nursing session, and then you're down for the night. Usually that's around 8:15-8:30. After you nurse, I pat your back and stare at you. Many times, tears fill up in my eyes. I've NEVER known a love like this, Lilah Grace. I could stare at you forever. You are absolutely perfect.



My love for you is eternal. It began before I was pregnant, when I was a little girl and used to make believe I was a mommy. I used to dream about having my own babies. You are my dream come true. I loved you before you were born, and I'll love you long after I die. True love like this never dies.

I pray more than I ever have. Even more than when I was young and about to get in trouble, and back then I prayed a lot! Haha. I put my hand over your precious, little head, and ask God to protect you, and bless you with a VERY long, satisfying, fulfilling life. Since I was pregnant, I have affirmed DAILY:

HAPPY
HEALTHY
SMART
KIND

I say these four words like a broken record. I want these attributes for you, and so much more.

In this life, we all wear many hats, and go through many phases and changes, and fulfill many different roles. I'm still very young myself, and already I have been a daughter, a granddaughter, a sister, a friend, a student, a flutist, a ballerina, a Farmerette, a sorority girl, a hippy, a volunteer, a nurse, a girlfriend, a feminist, a fiancee, a wife, a daughter-in-law, a sister-in-law, a co-worker, and now a mommy. You have been a baby, and a perfect one at that. I am certain with every fiber in my body that no role I've EVER been given is as important as being your mommy. I take no role more seriously. I pray also, asking God that He helps mold me to be the best mom for you, that I can be. You're so deserving.

I love you.

XOXO,
Mama


Monday, September 16, 2013

What's In A Name?

Probably because I am intrigued by astrology, I also am fascinated with "The Name Book," by Pierre Le Rouzie. This isn't a typical namebook with baby name suggestions...This book has an index of names, and groups of names with attached personalities.



I'm sure many people will roll their eyes and think "it's just a name..." but YOUR NAME IS HUGE! It's what you're called your entire life! There is a vibrational frequency associated with your name. There is an element, mineral, plant, sign, and color associated with your name. I am so interested in the PERSONALITY TYPES that go with certain names.

This book was loaned to me by my mother-in-law, and I remember looking through it ad-nauseum during the pregnancy, wondering if our daughter would be "Ardyn,"(Tranquil Prophet) "Everleigh," (Radiant Lily) or "Lilah" (Intriguing Empress).

Lilah Grace helped choose her name. We waited until she was born, and called her each name. When she stopped crying after "Lilah Grace," we believed she recognized her name, and that was what she wanted to be called.



I thought I'd share certain projected personality types that this book says she will have...and for validation, include the personality types for "Lindsay" and "George". I'd be happy to share with any of you, as well...just comment/message me on Facebook/call me, if you're curious. I have looked up my family members and best friends, and think it is uncanny how accurate this theory is!


LILAH. 



INTRIGUING EMPRESS. 
element//air
mineral//copper
plant//laurel rose
sign//aquarius
color//orange

You have a fine sensitivity, combined with a reassuring calmness....Essentially, you are an introvert...though it is important to you that others understand you....In any sort of power struggle, you retain your confidence and, once you have moved upward or been victorious, you will not abandon your triumph but make use of it for the next step in life....Your intuition is of the highest order, well-organized and reliable...and from this side of your nature springs your irresistible beauty and charm. When it comes to your deep, intuitive side, there is something of the enchantress about you. You have an analytic mind and are an excellent observer. Your observations and your analyses run deep, calling your intuitive powers into play when need be. 

LINDSAY.


THE THINKER.
element//earth
mineral//hematite
plant//garlic
sign//capricorn
color//yellow

(my husband is a capricorn, and my aura is yellow. i'm also italian, and LOVE garlic. hehehe.)

You are reflective and sensitive....Your mind is ruminative and your personality dreamy...Although your emotions are strong, you efface them with your mental thought processes....your self confidence suffers from your excessive self-examination...When you do make a decision, you become dedicated to its execution with a great deal of tenacity....You tend to be highly intuitive, imaginative, and creative....Your mind is much more concerned with meaning and depth than details. For that reason, the study of philosophy, psychology, or medicine, suits you. Finally, as a writer/artist/musician...you could find fame due to your original in-depth way of looking at the world...You tend to hold things inside and hang onto disappointments long after they're over...You prefer small gatherings to large groups of people, and serious conversation is particularly to your liking.

GEORGE.


SENTIMENTAL SERMONIZER.
element//fire
mineral//uranium
plant//olive tree
sign//aries
color//yellow

Above all, you are a man of profound sentiments. There is the great romantic in you, and you are keenly attuned to human suffering.... Always quick to deliver your opinions and convictions verbally...your profession must call upon your verbal abilities. A career in journalism/education/sales/politics is a possibility for you. Whatever your vocation, however, you will probably choose it not so much out of a direct decision, but as events in your life dictate. Once you are in a profession, your work will go smoothly and you will not in reality want very seriously to leave it. You possess an astonishing intuition, with a direct, seemingly magical vision of the world. Your attractiveness is found in your deeper self-in your sensitive and romantic soul....your inner awareness can be a very dynamic source of inspiration for you in the world....Your feelings are powerful and passionate at one moment, and soothing and calm the next. With the right person, you can open and blossom and return her affections....It is extremely important that you establish a nutritious diet and get enough sleep and fresh air....Though you may have a lot of friends and acquaintances, most likely there is only a small and devoted circle with whom you are at your relaxed best.




Apparently, the common denominator in my little family is our intuition. I think that's really important. I'm so grateful for my precious family, and for the affirmations this book has provided regarding personality types with names! Again, let me know if you want to know yours, and I will share!!!

xoxo,
L
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