The End of An Era (and I need your opinion)

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Well, that’s it, our house is officially un-baby-fied. That means everyone is a “big” kid now.

We sleep in big kid beds.

We use the big potties.

We drink out of big kid cups.

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The changing table was the last thing to go because I was still using it as a dresser. Then the other day I found this beautiful piece at a second hand furniture shop. It was just what I was looking for. It’s an old buffet that I am going to repurpose as a dresser.

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The only question I have is, “should I paint it or not” I can’t decide. I don’t want to mess it up, but their room is totally white and bright, so maybe this doesn’t go. Or maybe it does. I was thinking about doing a creamy paint all over and distressing it a bit. I’m just not sure. What do you think?

So the changing table is going. The last of the baby things we had.

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I’m a little sad, but only a little. Mostly, I’m excited (very excited) for this stage of life. Ten years of little babies was good, but it was enough for me. I loved the baby holding and snuggling years. The sweet firsts and nurturing that went on every day. I loved those years and I’m ready for them to be over.

I’m excited that we can travel with just a bag full of clothes for each of them, we don’t need tons of extra gear. We can walk on our own so I don’t have to carry someone all the time. We can do big kid activities like riding bikes, zip lining, and kayaking. And we can sit still for more than 5 minutes if mommy needs to go in somewhere.

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My shoulders relax just thinking about it. It’s good.

My Kids Took Over the Kitchen This Summer

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This is the new sign in my kitchen. It all started when I told my daughter I hated my life. Statements like that are excellent confidence and security builders – you should try them. You say something like that to your kid and stand back and watch them flourish.

I’m kidding of course.

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It was a real humbling moment for me.

All summer our kitchen has been riddled with crushed cereal, half eaten fruit laying on counters and cabinet doors wide open with snack boxes ajar. Little ones eating in the living room and crumbing all over my rugs and furniture. Snack wrappers stashed under sofas and chairs… you get the picture.

One day while getting breakfast for everyone I ran downstairs to get some milk (because the fridge in our kitchen was not working) when I realized someone (not me) left the basement refrigerator door open all night. Everything gone. On my way upstairs I noticed a half eaten apple sitting on the basement floor. Ants all around.

Later that day the subsequent trip to Costco, post fridge disaster, was still stacked high on the counter when my oldest decided it was time to bake something. Trying to give her freedom to be a big kid I decided to let her continue. While I cleaned off the table and floor (by myself) from breakfast, lunch and snack, she was making a new mess on the small portion of the counter you could still see. Looking for help I glanced into the sitting room to find four other kids watching TV and playing on electronic devices while I was cleaning up their messes.

It was then that I reached my boiling point and words flew. I didn’t really mean what I said. I was just frustrated with the situation I found myself in. I had just then decided they should be helping me but I wasn’t making them, in fact, I wasn’t even asking them to. But I was mad they weren’t helping me anyway.

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That night at my Bible study this statement struck me. “Your emotions are an indicator, not a determiner”.

OK, so my feelings don’t dictate, or determine how I must react. I am asked to have self control with my actions and words. That is a choice that I have to make in the moment and I take responsibility for that.

I know this, but I blow it once in a while. I’m not perfect and I’m not going to be perfect. Even God doesn’t expect me to be perfect. Ahhhh, sigh of relief.

But the most freeing piece of that statement was that my emotions are an indicator.

For some reason I have a very difficult time feeling justified in creating household rules based upon my feelings of frustration or irritation. When I am frustrated with some behavior going on in my home I feel like I need to “deal” with my emotion rather than changing the situation that is causing my frustration. So for me this was liberating to realize that my feelings of frustration over the constant state of my kitchen were an indicator that something was wrong in my home. And it was not only ok, but my job as mother, to change the situation.

In this case it was straight forward. I have the right to insist others clean up their own messes and respect our home and if they don’t they lose some privileges in the kitchen. While it isn’t ok for me to say hurtful things, it is ok for me to insist on some appropriate behavior around our home.

So for now the hours of operation were posted. This enables me to manage the meals and enforce the cleanup without hanging around my kitchen ALL DAY LONG.

I apologized to the kids that night for my actions and I prayed in front of them asking God for forgiveness as well. Then we discussed how out of control the kitchen had been lately and I told them the kitchen was going to have open hours each day until I knew people would clean up after themselves. I expected a lot of groaning and moaning, whining and complaining, but instead, I think they appreciated the boundaries. Imagine that.

We are all beautifully imperfect!

Craft Closet Clean-Up

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One of the first projects I did in our new house was the craft closet. It started out as a bare closet with wooden shelves on the right side. I purchased a shelving system from Lowes and installed it in a few hours. I did this entire thing myself ladies, it was that easy! Then I labeled some tubs that I already had and organized away.

Once every few months I have to go through and re-organize, throw away, and straighten up but now that I have a system that is all labeled – it is much easier. This weekend I tackled the clean up in here and as part of my house purge, I got a rid of a lot of junk that had accumulated. Here is what it looked like when I was done:

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My favorite part of the closet is this over-the-door shoe hanger that I turned into a wrapping station. Now I can always find the tape, scissors, wrap and ribbon! Ahhh. If you like this you can find a million great ideas on Pinterest.

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Now for a few before-the-clean-up pictures…

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Home Tour – The Patio

Our Patio is about to get a makeover. We want to put in a fireplace and new stone. There are some really wonderful aspects to our patio now, however, that I will miss. So here are some pictures of it now and next fall, you can see what we did with the place…DSC_0068 DSC_0005 2 DSC_0022 2 DSC_0020 DSC_0023

Girly Rooms

Today I am going to share a little home tour of our girly rooms. These are from different years and houses along our journey.

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Our first little girl room had a diamond pattern on the walls and an adorable chandelier. I painted the diamonds myself and repurposed the armoire with curtains.

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Our second little girl room had stripes and a very pretty scallop painted by some painters I hired right after we moved in.

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Our third little girl room has built-in character I just need time to make it special.