Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dear Maddux

Dear Maddux,

You just turned 5 years old...

You are becoming more and more independent by the day and its scary for me. I want to protect you. Keep your innocence... keep that sweet soul intact.
I am fearful that public school will harden you. I worry about the affects of other kids. Bullies. Because bullies start young. I don't want them to change you.

I have a 5 year old boy who loves showing affection. Believes in hugging and kissing his parents... lots of snuggling... lots of I love yous. Days are filled with loving affection, kind words, and sweet... oh so sweet... moments.

At 5 we had to take you in for your kindergarten exam already. And it got me thinking... worrying... about things out of my control. And I realize ... I am about to begin a hard chapter as a parent. Learning slowly... over time... the older you get... the more I need to sit back and learn to let things work themselves out. Trust in not only myself, but the little man i have raised.

As a parent, I try so hard to teach you to be kind. Above anything, always be kind. I try and raise the little boy that is nice to everyone. And so far... I have succeeded. I have watched from afar, that you, are kind. So very kind. You go out of your way to give out compliments and affection and I cannot even tell you how proud I am at the age of 5 that you have recognized the importance of being nice.

I worry so much that the world around us will harden you. It's my biggest fear. Peer pressure has to be most parent's nightmare. Bullies... Bullies at the age of 32 are my biggest fear.
I remember how hard it was when I was a kid, and now with social media I can't imagine how much worse it is. Kids grow up so fast... too fast and I love that right now you are exactly where you should be.

I hope that we hold onto these days of make believe. The days of you running around the house in super hero costumes fighting imaginary villains. When i watch you... you jump... maybe 3 inches off the ground... and you look at me.. with those bright eyes.... "did you see that mom??? Did you see that?" because you honestly believe you just jumped 4 feet into the are and used black belt ninja moves to take down the red skull.

I hope we hold onto these days of you lining up all your stuffed animals so that they can all watch your favorite movies along side of you. Where you share your popcorn and whisper to your beloved "candy butt" that this next part... is your "favorite part"

I hope we hold onto these days where you are constantly making up the lyrics to your own songs about dinosaurs, superheroes, candy butt, and your parents.

I hope we hold onto these days where your hand drawn T-Rex must be hung up immediately so all people that walk through our home can stop and admire your latest masterpiece. and if they miss it... you make sure you point it out to them.

I hope we hold onto these days where those art pieces are sometimes so abstract that while I am oohing and ahhing over this incredible new piece of artwork... my heart skips a beat when you say... "what is it?" and i have to try and see what you see... and pray to God i get it right... this time :)

I hope that we hold onto these days when you want to try anything and everything. You love trying new things: swimming, hockey, volleyball, karate, tumbling, piano, music, basketball, t-ball, soccer. Its so exciting to see you get out there and try something new with a big smile on your face. (after you get over the shock of the first day... the first day is always rough)

I hope we hold onto these days filled with snuggles and I love yous.

I hope we hold onto these days of exploration. Days filled with treasure hunts, sword fighting, and avoiding the floor because it's "hot lava"

You are my idea of perfection. You are smart, adorable, silly, charismatic, confident, shy, dramatic, brave, strong, gentle, loud, rambunctious, outdoorsy - yet not a fan of getting dirty, loves making people laugh, always on the go, always jumping off anything you can climb, so overly excited to become a big brother, will say anything to make a girl say "aww", stubborn, obsessed with all things animals, and always willing to try something new.

You are growing up so fast little one.
The past five years have come and gone with a blink of an eye.


Friday, January 2, 2015

Thank you 2014. Hello 2015.

2014 was filled with so many wonderful memories:

Countless nights playing boardgames
Playing the role of taxi driver for basketball, hockey, t-ball, karate, gymnastics, and swimming lessons.
Blew Bubbles.
Spent a week at Disney World with my boys.
Witnessed my son flirt with princesses. Shamelessly flirt with the princesses.
Painted Easter Eggs.
All or our DIY work was featured on a home tour.
Received a hand wrote bill from a bar
Became a Chicago Cubs Season ticket holder.
Spent the summer watching t-ball, chasing the ice cream truck, lemonade stands, watching fireworks, learning to ride bikes, and days at the zoo.
Joined the work golf league - without knowing how to play golf.
Roasted Marshmallows.
Days spent at apple orchards and pumpkin patches.
Visited a few friends I haven't seen in years...
Spent the day at the horse races.
Witnessed countless sweet exchanges between Maddux and Nala. A bond between a boy and his dog.
Found out we are expecting our second child.
Afters hours upon hours of debate finally agreed on a name.
Spent the holidays surrounded by family and friends.
Sang countless Christmas songs.
Watched Christmas movies outside while drinking hot chocolate.
Went to our first Chicago Bears game.
Watched my Baby Boy turn 5!!!!!
Wrote letters to Santa.
And throughout the whole year... I had a little superhero by my side.

I am excited for all the new adventures and memories to be made in 2015!
I am always big on New Year goals. I love setting goals for myself and I use New Years to start challenging myself on areas I can improve on. I believe in using the New Year as a time of reflection. A reflection of all the good times over the past year... and a reflection of areas we wish to improve on. If we do not challenge ourselves, we cannot improve ourselves.

2015 goals
1. Finally finish our basement remodel. Completely. We are about 50% there right now. and I am hoping we can get this done by March.
2. Limit my social media time.
3. Be Kind. Learn to actually follow the rule of if you have nothing nice to say don't say anything at all. No matter what.
4. Make my bed everyday. (this one is going to be hard)
5. Start recycling
6. Monthly dates (even dates at home)
7. Cook a new meal we havent tried once a month.
8. Learn to not be so hard on myself. Accept and own my mistakes.
9. Read one book a month.
10. Make new family traditions (we have a few new ones in mind... to start this year)

"May your coming year be filled with magic & dreams and good madness.  I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to makes some art - write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself".  - Neil Gaiman

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Updated basement

We have been working away at the basement, it has been a very frustrating process/

We last left off with the basement looking like this.... and the area we have been working on is that corner area to the left... 

Since then we started working on the nook in the far corner of the basement. We decided this space could easily be used as a serving area/wine bar/etc. etc. It would be a great place for us to place the food and drinks at family gatherings... 

So we made a stop at Ikea and took around the "as-is"section for some cabinets. We found a couple that were marked 50% off and started from there. We continued filling in this section with the wine fridge and built a shelf unit to store glassware or whatever ends up going there. 
We took 2x4s to build the table top and decided to put in rock tile across the back of the wall. 

This area still has a ways to go... but its finally shaping into what we had in mind... so I thought I would share an "In progress" photo. Don't mind the mess... we are still in the middle of this project...

We still have a few things to do. 

1. put the doors on the Ikea cabinets and buy hardware
2. paint the shelf that will hold the glassware
3. paint all the wood framing out the cabinets and wine storage
4. add a wood shelf to the bottom of each window
5. finish the rock wall
6. add another coat to the walls.
7. paint the window panes
8. put up trim and doors in the basement
9. add wine glass storage in the open shelves

But at least its to a point where I see it coming together. Slowly but surely. 

The basement itself is far from being done. but at least this small little corner is shaping up nicely. 
The rest of it... is still quite a mess... 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Baby Number 2 Due in May 2015!

The blog has been pretty quiet the past few weeks...

In case you missed our big announcement on Facebook...

So... I have been slacking on the blog.

Because I am tired. So tired.
This pregnancy is kicking my butt. I am finally starting to feel a little bit like myself again.
Just a little bit. But hopefully this is the turning point... and I will soon have enough energy to at least see 8 pm on a week day. Fingers Crossed.

We could not be more excited about baby number 2!
Thank you all for your kind words on Facebook. Maddux is absolutely thrilled to become a big brother.
He is even more thrilled that now... "He gets to be the boss of someone... finally"
... or so he thinks ;)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Bedroom Inspiration

We have been slowly but surely working on the basement... and meanwhile... I started planning out the bedroom changes.

So here are a few photos we are drawing inspiration from....

I am loving this simple X based table... maybe a vanity bench used also as a nightstand?

I am obsessed with navy bedroom walls...

Something about this rustic floor to ceiling headboard... or the black nightstand... or the chairs with the weathered ottoman... I just love the feel of this room.

You know how I feel about gallery walls...
especially around a TV.

Every single detail about this space on Jenna Sue's blog. Every single tiny detail.

Media stand in the bedroom?

The sweet rustic bench at the foot of the bed...

Again a vanity as a nightstand... seems like the perfect idea :)

So this week we are going to get started on our bedroom space.
I just want to create our own little retreat. Our own little space at the end of the day...

We will just see what we pull from the inspiration and how it all comes together.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ikea Wardrobes... and the neglected room

We have been living in our house for almost 3 years now... and all we have done in our bedroom is built a window seat... and painted the walls.

Well that is the room we start and end the day with and I am getting tired of not doing anything to that room. So while finishing the basement we decided to start working on this bedroom. Mainly... I think because Jerry is tired of hearing me complain... but even if that is the case.. as long as we do something to this room I will be happy.

So one thing I have struggled with is how many little nooks we have in our bedroom. the weirdest spots. which brings me to the next topic of Ikea.

Sometimes, Ikea gets a bad rap. If you go in there and buy the 10 dollar table... well you bought a 10 dollar table and duh... its the quality of... a 10 dollar table. But the thing I love about Ikea is the ability to customize almost anything in there to create something of your own.
Pax wardrobes are great for doing this... whether its creating a custom master closet... or creating a built in wardrobe... its easy to build... and easy on the bank account. win. win.

So we decided to give this a go...

So before we start. I thought I would leave you with a few inspiration photos we are pulling from...
so that Jerry can have his own wardrobe... and I can have... well the walk in closet ;)

I am hoping to someday in the future redo the master closet using the Pax systems

Every time I walk into pantry... I am immediately looking at closet systems... or cabinets... or anything I can put my own twist on. 

We just purchased a Pax closet system and some cabinets for our wine bar in our basement...  We always make sure we stop in and check the "as is" section. If you are looking for cabinets.. this is the place to go. You can always find cabinets that were either floor models or dented on the side (who cares if you are putting them between walls) where you will find over 50% off. 

We will be back to share with you our newest Ikea customizations very soon. 

Meanwhile... what is your favorite thing to shop for at Ikea? 

Monday, September 15, 2014

The last time..

Baby books are filled with the first times. The first steps. The first curl. the first tooth. The first words. Etc.

The other night Maddux fell asleep in my arms. Which hasn't happened in such a long time. As I watched him sleep I looked at him... and all the changes... My little baby that has grown into this energetic... boy. Not a baby... a boy.  And I tried remembering the last time he fell asleep in my arms... and my mind just went from there.

The last time his head was filled with curls?
The last time I fed him his bottle?
The last time I sang him to sleep?
The last time his eyes were blue... before they changed to green?
The last time he called me Mama before... moving to Mommy?
The last time I rocked him to sleep?
The last time he scooted on his butt down the stairs (before he learned to walk them)?
The last time I had to get his shoes on for him?
The last time he mispronounced Chewbaca as Chewyeeeybaaba?
The last time he believed Minnie Mouse was the "prettiest girl in the world"?

There will be more and more last times as we go throughout this journey.
He is growing up so fast.... and I will take as many glimpses of these moments... these moments... that I know... will soon turn into memories.

I just want to hang onto these last times a little bit longer.
I just need to remember... even though it takes us ten minutes longer to get out the door because I need to tie his shoes and zip up his coat... that soon....these will join the list of last times... and even these small little moments will be missed...

Don't get me wrong... I look forward to my son growing up. Being independent and self sufficient. However, I just want to live in these moments of being needed. Before those moments are gone.... Sometimes life is so busy. We rush through things... without realizing just how important those little moments are.

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