Monday, October 21, 2013

And She's Off...

The training wheels came off a week ago, but it doesn't seem that long ago that I posted about Lauren finding her way with her training wheels.  

She showed interest in the spring and after an hour of frustration on her part and ours, the training wheels were put back on.  She seemed more afraid of falling then anything.
But then Emma learned a few months back and even loaned Lauren her smaller bike.  The smaller bike was a much better height to gain confidence and help with balance.  But even trying that bike, she was still scared and wanted zero help from me.  I figured we would just hold off until the spring.
 And then last weekend she tried again.  We were at Emma's house and Billy shouted inside that she was doing it.  I really didn't believe it, because a month earlier there were tears and screams.  But there she was, riding.  Emma totally inspired her and gave her the confidence to do it.

 We took the training wheels off her bike the next morning and she's getting better and better each time she rides.  I had tears in my eyes watching her ride down the street, just one of the many firsts and many memories we will make in our new home.

Mostly for the grandparents, but here's the video from my phone...


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

DIY Abstract Art: West Elm Hack

A few weeks back we got around to adding a few decorative touches to the new house.  At first I wanted a mirror to go above the buffet, but later decided that some art would pack a bigger punch.  Purchasing a nice piece of art was definitely not in the budget so DIY'ing we went.
 I first saw this abstract art in West Elm's catalog, it wasn't really my style but I every time I saw it, I liked it more and more.  Black and white is easy to decorate it...goes with most anything.  Then I began to see some replicas floating around blog world.  I found more inspiration here, here, here, and here.
I could have just purchased a large canvas from Michaels, but we went the extra cheap route by making our own frame using wood we already had and a drop cloth.  After Billy assembled the frame, I started painting.  Thanks to his suggestion we painted the drop cloth white first.  Made for a better background and the surface became easier to paint with the white as the base.  The white paint was actual wall paint, but the rest was all acrylic paint.
I felt it needed a pop of color and chose to add a little bit of gold and hints of fuchsia.
I love the black and white of the original, but mine needed a little kick.

To finish the sides I took inspiration from Emily A. Clark and painted them gold.

I'm hardly an artist so this was the perfect skill level for me.  Surprisingly, we've had a few visitors even ask where we purchased it from:)

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013


I've attempted to write my story many times.  To talk about the moment that changed my life.  Not those two beautiful moments when my children entered the world and forever changed me, but the gut wrenching moment when my mother phoned to tell me my father had killed himself.  I relived those moments a lot last week as the three year anniversary approached, including the last time I saw my dad and the day before his death which was his 65th birthday.  

I think until now I always wanted to write about that day, what happened.  But it isn't what happened that I need to share, it's the continuing grief.  Three years later I'm still grieving, grieving hard.  What I thought would get easier, has often felt more painful then those first few days.  I fight with myself because I often think he doesn't deserve my tears, so I push them away until it hits me so hard I can't do anything else by cry.  

In the beginning, I grieved the loss like anyone else.  Tears, pain, confusion and questions to God. Grief is painful, and when you're in pain you just want it to stop.  To try and help my healing I began to focus on what was good about him instead of this terrible awful ending I was left with.  Focusing on that good helped me write his eulogy.  I remember feeling so at peace after his service, like I was starting to move forward.  An hour didn't go by before that darkness crept back in.  Time was beginning to heal, but when the moments hit, they don't get easier.

What's hardest about suicide is that your anger and sadness compete with each other.  I want to hate my dad for robbing me of the joy I should have had while carrying William.  But then I'm so sad that he will never see or hold our rough and tough, but sweet and silly boy.  What I'm realizing is that I just have work through the emotions and not push them away.  Being vulnerable has always been hard for me.  There is no plan, no map.  I just have to trust that being open to the grief will ultimately lead to healing.

My dad and Lauren when she was three weeks old.

Thank you for letting me share my feelings.  A friend suggested opening up here and I'm happy I took her advice and let some of this out.  Maybe sharing this will not only help me but touch someone else.    



Monday, October 7, 2013

Sunday Sweets {Pumpkin Scones}

I'm a day late, but I didn't want another week to pass without giving you this great recipe.  Especially since it seems fall has finally decided to arrive.  
I've never had the pumpkin scones from Starbucks, but these are apparently a scone clone!   They are delicious!  Great for a snack or breakfast...perfect with your coffee!
Here is the recipe:
The only change I made was in the glaze.  After spreading the powdered sugar glaze, there was a ton left.  So instead of making a separate spiced glaze, I just halved all the spices and added them to what was left from the first glaze.  

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Fire Station

Even though we moved back to our hometown and many of our friends live here, I decided to join a mom's group to meet new friends.  It's been great for me and the kids.  Lauren and William got a little lesson in fire safety last week which they are still talking about.  Can you guess what their favorite part was?
Wait for it...
The hose!
We've taken a few tours, but this was the first time they got to shoot the water hose.
Every child there had the biggest smile on his or her face!
Dress up anyone?  It may have been fifteen sizes too big, but that didn't stop her from working that camera!