Living Room + Entry

Another victim of my pregnancy nesting was our living room. I traded rugs with the one that was in Allie’s room since this one was a little bit bigger. It feels better, but I still feel like an 8×10 would be ideal. This one is on Craigslist so hopefully this will be the last you will see of this guy. It has had its moment and I’m pretty sick of it.

In addition to the rug change, I removed some of the extra decor and tried to lighten everything up in this space. I brought it a couple of plants, too. It’s a pretty crazy feeling how out of control you feel when you are about to have a baby. Like if everything isn’t totally perfect, you might just explode into a million pieces. At least that’s how it is for me. But, I’ve been told I’m a bit obsessive, particularly when preg. Oh yeah…and I removed the shelf liner off that mini wall. Everything feels brighter with it gone. You win some, you lose some. It’s funny that that post is one of my post popular. I get a crazy amount of hits from it and I’m seriously embarrassed about that. It was a bad choice.

Speaking of choices, we are about to make a whole lot of them. Adam has started interviewing and a lot of exciting + totally crazy + I’m scared to death life moments are going to start happening. This renter life is going to end within this year. It’s like my dream come true, but also super terrifying. Here we go.

Side note-don’t miss baby Spence in the last picture.

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Light & Bright Dining Room

I think the last time I posted about our dining room it had a black chalkboard wall. After one winter here and discovering how dark and gloomy it could be, the black chalkboard wall had to go. It didn’t do much to lift my spirits in the cold winter days so I decided something bright and cheerful was more suitable for this tiny wall. I actually made this change several months ago and I haven’t lived to regret it. The chalkboard paint was surprisingly easy to paint over. Everyone gave me a hard time for painting a rental black , with concerns that I would have a real issue when it came time to painting it back, but this wall took two coats of white paint and that black was gone forever.

The stencil, as usual per stenciling, was a pain in my butt. Luckily, a good friend here came to the rescue to help me get the last of the wall done when I felt like I had had enough. I love how it turned out. It isn’t perfect and actually gets increasingly worse with each stencil, but you have to be up close to really notice how bad the bleeding got with my increase in laziness.

The stencil I used is the Tea House Trellis. I know stencils aren’t for everyone, but it’s a great solution for renters who want the look of wallpaper with just some paint.

Have you tried a stencil? Would you ever do it again? This is my second time using one and I have sworn both times I will never do it again. But, I did… so, here it is.

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Edit: Forgot I had this sweet picture of my big girl’s 4th birthday party!

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Master Bedroom + Birth Story

I don’t know why I decided to share our master bedroom with my birth story. Maybe because this is where me and my baby spend a whole lot of our time together? She is still currently sleeping in here with me in a bassinet tucked right next to my side of the bed- so I can easily snatch her up when she starts fussing in the night to nurse. Like the rest of our house, the master was changed a little bit during my psychotic need to nest everywhere. Postnatal nesting is real, too.

Read below for birth story.

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Tuesday, Dec. 9, I had a doctor’s appointment to check my cervix, strip my membranes, and decide if I would be good to go to be induced the following day. I had turned 40 weeks that Sunday and was planning for a vaginal birth after cesarean. An induction would include breaking my waters and as little as pitocin as possible to avoid adding more risk for a uterine rupture. The doctor checked my cervix- I was a three. All the uncomfortable braxton hicks I had been having all week weren’t for nothing after all. I was scheduled to be induced the next day. In a last attempt to get my labor going naturally, my doctor stripped my membranes. This process does not feel great, by the way. I was sent on my way with instructions to do some walking, but also lots of crawling and crazy yoga moves to get the baby to turn her face around.

The second I walked out of the doctor’s office, I knew I wasn’t going to make it till the next  day. Contractions had already started and I was feeling sick to my stomach. Naturally, I went to Target. I shopped like one does when in labor. I came home, cleaned my house like crazy, made sure my bag was totally packed, fed my family and made sure the kids knew I probably wouldn’t be home in the morning when they woke up, but that Adam would pick them up to meet the new baby when Carson got home from school. Finally, I settled into the bathtub to try and relax a little and really start counting contractions. Sitting in the bath, my contractions went from 5 minutes apart to 2 minutes apart. As soon as I got out, I felt some pressure and lost my mucous plug. The contractions started getting stronger quickly and since they were already 2 minutes apart and the hospital is about 30 minutes away, I decided we better start heading over.

We called a babysitter over to spend the night with the kids and headed to the hospital. When we got there, they checked me-still a 3. Wah wah. They told me to go walk the halls and then they’d check me again in an hour to see if they were going to let me stay. I walked with Adam for like 20 mins, but then got too tired. It was about 11 pm at this point, I think. I decided to go back to my room and sit on the ball to help get through the contractions. They came to check me after an hour- I was a 4.5. I was staying. Part of me wished it was nothing and that I could just go back home to get some sleep. I was so tired already.

The night continued on pretty slowly. My contractions never stopped being 2 minutes apart so I never slept. I’d rest my eyes and then they’d pop back open with shocking pain that would shoot my whole body up into a rocking motion. I thought maybe I could relax more in the bath so my nurse ran one for me and I hopped in. Yep, hopped. Not. Anyway, labor started getting pretty intense in there. My nurse kept asking me if she should get Adam and I told her I’d rather be alone. I always feel this way when I’m in pain. I sat in that bath and grunted through the contradictions. I was reasonably quiet. My nurses kept commenting on how I must have a very high pain tolerance because I was so quiet and calm. I assured her that I was in severe pain, I’m just not a screamer. After my bath, I was checked again. This time I was a 7. I asked for the fentanyl to give me some temporary relief from the pain so I could rest. It made me feel super dizzy through one contraction and then it was totally gone. Totally stupid. Don’t recommend wasting your money on that one.

After that, I was rocking in my bed, grunting and feeling close to losing my mind with every super painful contraction. I sat up through one particularly painful contraction and felt an insane amount of pressure and then apparently there was a pop and then a flood. The nurse came in quickly when she heard me say, “Holy crap, Adam! My water just broke!” She cleaned up my bed and got me a new gown and then checked me again. I was a 9. At this point, my mind was lost. Adam brought me a cold rag to cover my face, I was pulling my own hair, crying, saying crazy things and blubbering out how I couldn’t do this anymore and I should have done an epidural. I asked for the spinal narcotic shot. They provided. The nurse anesthetist told me I had to hold still which made me go totally nuts trying to get through a contraction. Once she was done she told me to keep my legs down so it could work. This task was impossible. My body was convulsing into a ball of pain. I heard the anesthetist tell the nurse it wasn’t going to work because it was clear I was already in transition and it was time. They both kept asking me questions, but I couldn’t answer. I could hear them, but they sounded far away and I was in pain zone: it was just me and the pain. Finally, my nurse asked me if I was ready to push. After a solid minute of me trying to process her voice, I grumbled that I didn’t know. I knew I was, but I wasn’t sure I was ready to take on more pain. Sure enough, I was a 10.The nurse called my doctor in. I had the nurse do my counting through the pushing. I started with 3 pushes for each contraction. In between every contraction, I passed out. It was silent and then I would wake up in unimaginable pain and for a split second I couldn’t remember where I was and then it would be time to push again. I pushed so hard. It brought some relief knowing that this was almost over. I started doing 4 pushes per contraction and then she was right there…ready to come out. I got to feel the top of her head, which is crazy weird when the head is still up in you. My doctor told me she wanted to do an episiotomy because her face never did turn around and there wasn’t any room left for her whole head to come out. I declined and then after a couple more contractions, the doctor decided that it was just going to have to be done.  Our baby girl arrived in the next contraction.

When they placed our new baby on my chest, the pain was completely gone. I forgot how exhausted and drained of energy I was. There is nothing like seeing and holding your baby for the first time. It is the most spiritual experience I’ve been lucky to have three times. The veil to heaven is so thin, like heaven is all around this very moment. You can feel Heavenly Father gifting you this child, and placing His trust in you to care and love for His spirit child that has been placed in this human body made by two people in love. There is always a hush in the room. It’s an undeniable feeling that there is a God. And God is good.

Meet Spencer Juliet Rogers

Born on December 10, 2014

Weighing 8 lbs. 5 oz

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Carson’s Room

 

In all my nesting, our home got changed up here and there to feel more clean, organized, and bright. I’ve had baby blues in the past and I figured winter blues wouldn’t help the baby blues so it was pretty important to me to make everything feel great. Since Carson’s room also serves as our guest bedroom when grandmas come, I really wanted this space to be welcoming and I hope I accomplished that for our sweet grandmas who have already come to help me out.

It’s not too different up in here, just spruced up a bit. Have a look:

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Allie & Spencer’s Shared Room

 

The girl’s room is complete. I love how it all came together. There is still room for Allie and her friends to play and it’s bright and happy. This itsy bitsy room ended up being able to hold a whole lot and it is serving us well. I think I’ll share Spencer’s birth story and sweet photos here soon, too, before I forget the crazy details. IMG_8109

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Crib Vote

Crib Vote

I’m having a really hard time deciding on a crib. Won’t you help me? Tell me your favorite, pretty please? Or maybe you have seen another crib with similar style? Feel free to share a link to that, too!

Thanks!

Making Room to Share

The big change in Allie’s room will take place in about 20 more weeks, when it will no longer just be Allie’s room. Baby #3 is coming and is in need of some space. I was so sure we were having a boy, but lo and behold…it’s another girl! To make room for another human in this small room, we took out Allie’s small dresser, nightstand, dollhouse, and picture wall. We replaced her dresser with a larger dresser from IKEA that both girls will be able to share for a while. 

I added a sweet accent wall to replace the picture wall that wouldn’t be so safe over a crib. I decided on the Flying Arrow Decals in gold from Walls Need Love. They are exactly what I wanted and makes the wall where the crib soon will live pretty special. They are currently my most favorite thing in the room (besides it’s resident). They were super easy to adhere. Allie actually peeled each arrow and handed them to me to stick on the wall. She stuck a few on herself, but mostly put them in crazy places that I later moved when she wasn’t looking.

I’m loving this space, probably more than I ever have. Her room is always a favorite. And now TWO girls will be able to love and play and trash it. I can’t wait!

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IMG_7551As far as baby-ness, I’m planning on keeping the baby side really simple will gold polka dot sheets and a brass mobile that I will probably end up making. Here are my ideas so far:baby

Kitchen Update

At the end of the day, our kitchen will still be outdated and tiny and have the worst lighting in the world, but infusing little bits of weird and fun make it feel a little more like us. Some day, I’ll have a beautiful, bright, full of storage and light kitchen, but for at least another year…this is what we got. Life is still good. I can still cook meals for our family. As long as no one else tries to squeeze in there with me. Then I shut down in crawl into a tiny ball in the corner…ain’t no room for two people.

Whew…anyway, Walls Need Love (who I have worked with previously on adding a striped wall, that now lives in our hallway) sent me the gold Dog Silhouettes designed for The Nester. Their decals are such high quality. Allie helped me peel off the decals and we had no ripping drama. They can be moved around without losing any of their sticking power and they lay so flat to the wall that people aren’t sure if I painted them right on.

The dogs add just the right amount of cool and quirkiness to my chalkboard paint backsplash that makes visitors stop and say, “hmmm…” I’ll take that as a compliment. Thank you very much. Woof.

Also in the kitchen, I added my little gazelle head from HomeGoods, a couple new matching rugs from Target that feel so much better now that they are brighter and matching in such a tight space, and my favorite IKEA stool that I painted to be a look-a-like to Dana’s of House Tweaking. Allie is finally able to wash her own hands and Carson can raid the cupboards in the morning. Yahoo to that.

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Thanks Walls Need Love for sending these awesome decals. They seriously make me so happy. Go check them out. Looks like you can get 15% off using code FIREWORKS15. So much cuteness and genius for renters like myself.

While product was kindly provided, these photos and opinions are entirely my own.

 

Stand Up.

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IMG_7315After my last post on being confident and letting everyone else in the world be confident, too, I received a lot of positive feedback and people who have felt the same way. Like, why can’t women support each other, despite our different shapes and sizes?

Last night I received a screenshot of a thread on Facebook. It went like this:

Facebooker #1: “I don’t have a thigh gap. I’ve never had a thigh gap. I will never have a thigh gap. I’m ok with that. You should be too. Get over it & move on!

First 2 commenters: Leave uplifting, supportive responses telling facebooker # 1 that she is beautiful and loved.

Commenter #3: “Thigh gaps are for girls not women.”

This comment receives 2 likes at the point I receive this screenshot.

 

Well, this is my response:

Facebooker #1: I’m sorry if someone has made you feel thigh gaps are of any importance. And hallelujah for accepting your body! Loving yourself is far greater and satisfying than dwelling on what men, women, or media tell us.

First 2 commenters: What lovely friends. It’s encouraging to see women respond with compassion.

Commenter #3 and all the people who agree with this comment or ‘liked’ it: Yuck. Did demeaning women with thigh gaps make you feel better? Did it take away our God-given strength and beauty of being a woman because our legs don’t touch?

My thighs don’t touch. I have a thigh gap. And now me and everyone like me is suddenly labeled a girl instead of a woman?

This body of mine has birthed a child straight out of my vagina and my body healed.

I’ve had another baby cut out of me and my body healed.

I have fed both my children from my breasts, with boobs that exploded to be significantly larger than my baby’s head. (Take that boys who publicly named me president of the itty bitty titty committee in Sunday School as a youth. Yeah I cried for weeks over that.) And my body healed.

I can get on my spin bike and sweat from every pore, rip every muscle while working out. And my body heals.

I’ve had blistered feet, sliced fingers, gashed shins, and bruises galore from hard work. And my body always heals.

This body God has given me is amazing. And it does not belong to a girl. It belongs to a woman.

And what about girls? What if young girls see that disgusting comment?

When I was in 7th grade, my mom started me on doctor prescribed fat shakes that she would make with ice cream instead of milk. I would drink one of these once or twice every day. In addition, my mom would make me a baked potato and put all kinds of crap on it because someone told her it would help me gain weight (no idea if this holds any truth because I certainly didn’t gain any weight).

Do you think my mom did this because she didn’t think I was pretty enough?

No. My mom thought I was beautiful, just as I was, and reminded me often. She did this to stop my tears. She did it because she understood what I was going through at school. My confident mother, who’s beauty everyone admires, knew what I was going through from her own childhood.

What kind of cycle are we continuing? If your child is overweight, will you tell them that they will never be looked at like a real woman because they are fat? If your child is underweight, will you tell them they will never be looked at like a real woman because they are so skinny? No.  And it won’t just be because we love them, it will be because we genuinely think our children are beautiful, despite their size, and we hope and dream that the world will see them the same way we do. Right?

So yeah, what if a young girl sees that disgusting comment? What if she takes it to heart? That size is what makes you a real woman? Is that how you want children to think? Is that how you want a delicate, thin girl to feel about herself as she unknowingly becomes a woman?

Think about what you say before you say it. And have some compassion and love towards all women. Because we all need each other.

Have a Seat, Won’t You?

I’m a bargain hunter. I shop thrift stores and sales and garage sales. I love the hunt of treasures. I had a stage of hoarding that I bought everything that was medium cute if it was on sale. When we downsized in a big way to this town home, my hoarding habit had to come to a halt. I make myself get rid of things when something new comes in. Now when I buy, it has to have a place and it has to be versatile. As a never-ending renter, a valuable lesson I’ve learned is to buy and keep pieces that can be awesome in several spaces.

One of my favorite things to purchase for my home is statement chairs. I mean, I could live in a room of stylish chairs. Seriously. It’s a weakness. Before I buy, I try to envision the chair in several locations in my home. If it only will work for one space, I don’t buy. I can’t buy. Partly because I am constantly changing things and partly because it’s a tight squeeze here and partly because I never know what will work in our next home. So if I can envision a new chair in a kids room, in the family room, as an office chair, as an extra chair at the dining table, etc., it might make the cut.

A couple of my favorite chairs in my home right now are my leather thrifted chair (its leather is old and buttery AND it reclines!) and my Donny Osmond Home tufted chair. These are versatile pieces. Today the leather chair chills in Carson’s room as a little reading nook, tomorrow it might be in our family room. The tufted chair serves as my desk chair today, tomorrow it might be used at our dining table.

That’s how it goes for renters.  And I can’t complain. I’m a habitual tweaker. Twerker? That too.

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Need some help purchasing or reupholstering your statement chair? One Kings Lane has created a Home Décor Resource guide to help light the way. Check it.

What’s your favorite statement chair in your home? How do you go about purchasing statement pieces for your home? Do you want everything to be versatile enough to work in several spaces?

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