Monday, September 30, 2013

Elijah's First Haircut

My sweet baby boy is growing up much faster than I would like him to. I find myself clinging to the little bit of baby that's left in him. And one of those things I clung to for a long time was his little baby curls. It took Elijah quite a while to get hair at all, and then what he had was wispy and so blond that it hardly looked like it was there. But a couple of months ago, it started getting longer and I had to think about that first haircut that would take him from looking like a baby to looking like a toddler. I wasn't ready at first. I didn't want to do it myself because I didn't feel like I could cut those sweet little curls off. I looked into taking him somewhere, and actually planned to make a trip to Indy to take him to a fun little place just for kids. They would take his before and after picture, save that first lock of hair, and we would get a little certificate as a keepsake. They also have fun little chairs for the kids to sit in, so I figured it would be a fun way to mark the first cut. But we have been crazy busy on the weekends for the past several months and this month is no different, so I finally decided I could handle doing the cut myself. And so my little baby looks all grown up now.

The day after he got his hair cut, Elijah kept reaching up to his ears like it felt funny not to have hair there anymore.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Wall Transformation

I might spend a little too much time on Pinterest. I love getting ideas for our house, but sometimes the number of ideas is overwhelming and most of what I pin, I never even go back and look at let alone do. But one Pinterest inspiration caught my eye well over a year ago and I have not been able to let it go. I actually planned to start in the dining room, but we have this back hallway that was not designed with mudroom in mind. The problem is, that it is the garage entry and therefore the one we use more than any other. It's where coats, purses, diaper bags, backpacks, shoes, etc end up getting dropped. It's super crowded and kind of drives me a little bit crazy. So, that area is where I decided to try my inspiration out with a faux board and batten wall treatment. Once I decided to do it, I spent forever looking at tutorials before I had the courage to actually spend money on anything. I'm always so afraid of messing things up and have to go through quite a bit of self talk before I will even get started. Darn perfectionism!! We don't have wood working equipment and neither of our home improvement stores do precise cuts in wood, so I had to spend a bit more than I would have liked to get boards that were the width I needed. I did purchase a cheap miter block and saw, so I cut things to the length I needed with that. Sawing by hand was not easy! Maybe someday we will have some grown up tools. So after I primed all the boards, installing them was pretty easy. Then came the caulking. Not my favorite part of the job, but well worth it in the end. I love how it turned out and can't wait to get some hooks on the wall for coats and backpacks, as well as a couple of hanging baskets for hats and gloves. Perhaps this area will feel a little more functional! For now though, I'm just loving the character that the treatment adds to the walls.

 I actually considered myself done with the picture above. I was pretty nervous about trying to cut a piece of molding with a hand saw and doing the corners made me really nervous too. But as much as I liked it, it just didn't feel done. So I went for it and did the decorative molding. And I love it. Cutting the corners by hand was a pain and they are not perfect by any means, but it just adds so much character to the whole thing. Plus, purchasing, cutting, hanging, caulking, and painting only took me one extra day of work. Definitely worth it!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Elijah's First Sucker

A couple of weeks ago, Matt and I were heading out for a date. Matt had brought home a caramel apple sucker that a coworker had given him and Ben was going to get to have it after dinner. I knew that Elijah was going to be sad not to have anything, so I decided he could have his first official sucker. I bought these yummy earth organic suckers, and while they are of course candy, they don't have dyes and HFCS, so they relieve a little mommy guilt. Haha! So my sister Melody came to babysit, and since we were going to be gone, I asked her to take a few pictures with my camera.

I think he was enjoying it!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Picking Apples

I used to say that fall was my very favorite season. It still is in many ways. I hate to say good-bye to the simplicity of summer shorts and flip flops and the daylight that lasts from early morning until way late at night, but I love the cool crisp mornings, the colorful mums, the pumpkins and straw bales lining front porches, the changing leaves, and the apples. Oh how I love the apples! We have a couple of orchards not too far from us and this year was the first year that one of them offered U-Pick. I had visions of us picking baskets of apples in every variety and it being an entire morning's activity. But it turned out that you could pay $10 for a 1/2 peck bag and get a $2 credit for the store. And there were only two varieties of apples available for picking. So, we paid for two bags and headed out to pick. The apples were huge, so it didn't take long to fill our two bags. Despite the picking being over almost as soon as we started, the boys had a great time, and we got some cute pictures. We bought  two other types of apples from the store and have been in apple heaven every since. If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, we will be set for the year. Ha!

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Year of Catch Up

Not that anyone is reading this anymore, but wow, I can't believe I've let almost a whole year go by without posting. Life is so busy sometimes and I'm just not taking the time to record it like I want to. But looking back over this little blog reminds me that I love seeing all the memories it has kept for us. Unfortunately, I have to actually write them for the blog to keep them.

So here we go. The past year in a nutshell. Ben played outdoor soccer for the first time and had a blast! I got a fun inspiration from Pinterest and stuck Elijah in a pumpkin for some fun pictures. We traveled to KS to visit our friends Brian and Katie. We traveled to Ohio to visit Matt's sister and her husband and kids. We had our first Christmas with two kiddos. So. Much. Fun.! We endured yet another winter in Indiana that made me wonder why on earth we moved back here from Texas. We celebrated one year of life for Elijah. He is a total delight in our family and we are so blessed! We were excited to have a week and a half escape from the yuck of winter when we traveled to Florida for Matt's work and a family vacation. We spent Easter with my sister and her family in Fort Wayne. We finally started doing some things to our yard to make it feel more like home. Tons of mulch, four trees, and some new bushes and landscaping. We finished up homeschooling Ben for kindergarten. It was a tough year, but he learned to read some short words and sentences.We prayed and prayed and finally decided to send Ben to school for first grade. We enjoyed a rather cool summer with a short anniversary getaway from Matt and me, strawberry picking, Celebrating six wonderfully blessed years of Ben's life, blueberry picking, trips to the farmer's market, lots of family walks, a couple of hikes, a day trip to St. Louis, a trip to Holiday World with most of my siblings, fun in the backyard kiddie pool and the sandbox, and a visit from my brother Will. School started five weeks ago and Ben has adjusted slowly. He's doing well now and his reading is improving quickly. And while he still wishes work were optional, he's catching on and doing much better. It's been strange being home with just Elijah, but we are falling into routine and it's been really good.

There is no way I can play catch up with pictures from the last year, but I have to post a few from the highlight moments. 

Ben was excited about soccer!

 My little pumpkin

 Sweet brothers

 Happy First Birthday!

 Sanibel Island

 Easter 2013

 Happy little mess maker

 Homeschool - butterfly unit

 Backyard pool fun

These boys could live in the sandbox
 First day of First Grade!