Thursday, January 16, 2014

Dining Room Makeover- Giving a Little Room a Lot of Class

I have been dreaming of ways to change our dining room for a long time. The walls were plain white, and it was pretty boring. A few days ago, we had it painted and got some crown molding & wainscoting added. This room has been totally transformed. I forgot to get "before" photos, but here is the "after."
I painted some old frames white & distressed them with sandpaper & used the same technique on a few accent pieces I found that weren't white. Adam got me that clock for my birthday a year or two ago & I painted it to match, too.

I am still working on the centerpiece (notice the price tags still on some of those flowers?). I am not sure exactly what I want just yet, but I like it so far.
The mirror cast a weird reflection on the left wall, there. Wes thinks my fork & spoon are silly. I mean, he had tears of laughter in his eyes while telling me that! I think I'll leave them up just to see him laugh so much! Plus...I LIKE them!
The quote on the lower left frame says, "While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about." (quote from Angela Schwindt)

The living room walls were also painted & I have new curtains up, but I won't show photos of that room until after I get my DIY artwork done & hang it on the wall.

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Our Crazy Holidays- Part 2

After enjoying Christmas with my family, we headed back to Rosenberg, three hours north of Corpus Christi.

Passing time on the road

Buc-ee's Beaver

Buc-ee's are these huge quick shops like no other, known for their big and clean restrooms. It was fun to have a stop along the way that was unique & fun.

We got to visit our friend, Bobbi. We spent a lot of time with her & her husband when we lived in Roseberg. We went to church together and had many deep talks. Her husband was one of my most trusted friends, and they were by our sides for many years. It was so good to be with her again.

When we lived in Rosenberg, I taught middle school. I have kept in touch  with a few of my students & got to eat breakfast with a former  student who now works with children that have special needs & does  photography. We keep up with each other on Facebook, and I think she'd be the first to tell you that she'd keep my kids forever if I let her! It is so cool that we have so much in common. I really enjoy our visits.

This is her best friend's granddaughter. What a beauty!

 I went to visit some friends from work. We really enjoyed our time together just relaxing and talking...and laughing at all the funny things Adam said.

And if you know me even a little bit, you know that this was what I was waiting for, and that this was the highlight of this leg of our trip...

I simply love these people with every shred of my being. I absolutely love when all four of us grown ups get to be together. The only bad part was that we didn't get to be together for a worship service. Our four-part-harmony is an especially cool part of our friendship.

After our short time in Rosenberg, we headed back home. We left at 10am on Saturday and arrived home at 6am Sunday morning. Our original plan was to go to Wes's parents house, but so many of us were sick, we had to postpone our get-together. After the boys fell asleep on our drive home, we decided to continue driving straight through. We did not want to get all that luggage out, wake them up, and get them back to sleep again. It was easier to just keep driving, and the boys traveled beautifully.

Wes did most of the driving & was grateful for rest when we got home, but first we had to open gifts. Santa came while we were gone, you know!

Santa brought a cat bowl, cat toys, & a gift card to PetsMart. Monday, we spent the day in Lexington and came home with this little guy, Whiskers. We got him from an animal shelter that has some animals in PetsMart. He was only $55 and had already been neutered, & microchipped, had his first vet visit & vaccinations, and was litter box trained!! What a deal! And he is a sweetie! Adam tells him, "I love you, Whiskers. You're the best cat anyone could have."

Whiskers was a little sick with some upper respiratory problems when we brought him home & all he wanted to do was snuggle, but he has almost finished his antibiotic and is doing well.

Wes & I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary once we were back home and settled in. Never mind there was a snow storm going on outside. We had a nice dinner, enjoyed bowling, and watched a movie. When someone is scheduled to watch the boys and give us a night alone, we take it!

Then we got to celebrate the holidays with Wes's family. We have some fun traditions, and the cousins always love being together.

Whiskers joined us & felt right at home, just like we do when we spend time there.

Grams spoiled him by sharing her heating pad. He loved it!

So now that I feel like I've done my duty of sharing Christmas photos, I am hoping to get some videos of the boys together to post on the blog and plan to share some fun informational stuff, especially how I have updated my wardrobe using Pinterest for inspiration and thrift stores for the shopping! What do you think about regular posts titled "Pinterest Style on a Thrift Store Budget" and some more "Tuesday Tidbits" geared toward parenting & simplifying life? Let me know what you think! I hope everyone is having a great start to 2014 & keeping at least some of those resolutions! Some of you will be shocked to know that I gave up diet soda! And am happy about it! Herbal teas are my new best friends...and so is my new Keurig! (I totally had to look that up to know how to spell it! Such a newbee!)

Have a great day! Thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Our Crazy Holidays: Part 1

On Dec. 12, Levi ended up in the hospital with difficulty breathing. An ER trip led to an ambulance ride to Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville, which led to a few days of Levi staying in the hospital on oxygen. I had a flight out of the Louisville airport to do a teacher training, in case you're wondering why we chose that hospital (we usually choose Cincinnati Children's).

Wes stayed with Levi while I was gone on Friday and Saturday for work. I arrived at the hospital again Saturday evening, and Levi was discharged Sunday afternoon. Sunday, after we were told we were going home, Santa visited and brought Levi a gift. All was merry & bright, and I asked if Levi's ears could be checked.

We had a flight to Texas the next day & they said Levi was fine to fly, but I sure didn't want to get him on a plane if he had fluid in his ears. When he gets congested, he can get ear infections quickly. Apparently there was wax blocking the doctor's view & she couldn't tell if he had fluid in his ears or not. the nurse irrigated his ear to clean it, then the resident came in and used a tool to scoop out wax...and while I was holding him down, the doctor accidentally punctured Levi's ear drum. I was so upset. First of all, I almost passed out from watching that blood pool up in his ear as he screamed and arched his back in pain. Then I was so angry I didn't even know what to do. I was silent when the doctor came in to apologize.

The good news is it was actually better for him to fly with a punctured eardrum because there was no pressure for him to deal with, but I couldn't get it out of my head that my sweet guy was hurt, and I let it bother me for a few days.

The boys were troopers on our flights to Texas. They were so well behaved & really enjoyed themselves.
We stayed in Rosenberg, where Wes & I lived when we were first married, so I was grateful to have help with the boys. I had a fun work party to attend the day after we arrived.
After my work party, the boys & I headed down to Corpus Christi to visit my parents. The next morning, Levi slept much later than usual, was extra clingy, and fell back to sleep by 10am. During that rest, his breathing was rapid, & I got a pulse ox reading of 86. Once he woke up & I got him to the ER, he was struggling less & his pulse ox was higher, but each time he fell asleep, it would drop below 90 so he was admitted & stayed 1 night but didn't get to leave until after 7pm the second day we were there.

This is my brother visiting us while Levi was awake.
And here is Levi shortly after he fell asleep.
We did get to see the ocean from his room & had a relatively good experience at the hospital (minus the ridiculous discharge procedures). The doctor in the ER really wanted to know exactly what Levi was dealing with. They did several tests and found out he had RSV.
And we got to visit with my dad & brother even while they were working since they both work at Driscoll Children's Hospital.
They gave Levi an oral steroid that he hasn't taken before, and it made him as grumpy as could be. It was awful. He would play for just a few minutes and then nothing could make him happy. He would slap me, push me off his bed, and then be crying for me to hold him a few minutes later.
Those two days seemed to be much longer than they were, and once he got out of the hospital, he had 3 more days on that steroid. Not fun.

Wes was determined to see me on our anniversary so he drove 20 hours straight once school let out. He had a cousin ride along to keep him company. They had a fun trip & his cousin flew home from Texas. I was glad Wes wasn't alone on that long trip, and really needed his hugs after the last few days I'd been through.

Wes, Adam & I all seemed to have the same virus Levi was dealing with, but I felt good enough to take my niece out for a mani & pedi while everyone else rested. Can you tell I was happy to be out?
We didn't get to do as much on Padre Island as I had hoped because of Adam's cough, but the entrance to this souvenir shop was one of the highlights of his trip. When people ask about his trip, he tells them he got to fly on a plane and climb on a shark's teeth. Look closely to find him in this picture.

 This picture of my Dad & Levi is one of my favorites from our trip.
Although the trip wasn't what we expected because so many of us felt bad (my brother's family & parents included), we were all so happy to be together.
In case you haven't seen "Fireplace for Your Home" on Netflix, it is a great way to enjoy a crackling fire when you are a mile from the beach & it is really too warm for a fire.
Levi understood Christmas this year & loved delivering (and opening) gifts.
Adam was determined to have special PJs for Christmas Eve (which is when my family has always opened gifts). He didn't want PJs with Santa ON them, he wanted PJs that made him look like he was wearing a Santa costume. I was so happy to find some online, and he was so excited when he found them sitting out for him after his bath.

Adam had his heart set on getting a Dream Lites Pillow & a Flipeez Hat. Last year he wanted those Stompeez slippers where the animal's mouth opens up with each step. This year, he'd ask for the Flipeez Hat (after apparently seeing a commercial) and say, "Mom, they're from the people that brought me Flipeez!!"
My brother's favorite gift was this lamp. He keeps the 24 hour marathon of "A Christmas Story" playing every year, and he opened his gift just as the lamp scene in the movie was on. If you look closely through the glare, you can see the lamp on the TV screen.
We had a happy and memorable trip.
And it was only the first "leg" of our holiday travels. More posts to come.