Weekly Update: 3/23-3/31

Did you catch the news on Wednesday about a pretty big event in our lives? Head over here to read about it. 

At the end of last week I ran to our local twice yearly consignment sale. They have some pretty amazing things if you look hard enough!

I walked away with 7 shirts, 4 pairs of shorts, 2 dresses, a coverup and sunglasses for $37.50! Not bad at all. This combined with some leftover shorts/shirts from last year will complete his summer outfits. I love one stop cheap (and CUTE) shopping!
And while we're talking about sales/deals- Dollar Tree is my new favorite place to coupon! I got 14 bars of soap and 3 bottles of hand soap for $4.64! All the Olay was free (save $2 on 2 bars), the dial and soft soap was 65 cents. Amazing!

Luke has shown a great interest in painting recently. While he painted I played around with my camera!
Look at that concentration! and although some times I feel like he's going to be a lefty- he paints with his right hand always. He can be whatever hand he wants- I just think it's cute to watch him learn and figure out what's comfortable to him. 
Luke had his Egg hunt at school on Thursday. Oh my those kiddos are soooo cute! One girl was super competitive and got double the amount of eggs as everyone else. Another kid looked at an egg painted like a football and said "That's not an egg!! That's a football!!" Oh they are just precious!

On Saturday Luke was begging Josh to ride the lawn mower, so he figured it was a good time to cut the grass. I think a little someone is a little smitten by his daddy!

In this last trimester I have gone from being so exhausted I can barely keep my eyes open, to waking up between 3:30-4:30 every morning... what in the world? Also I started throwing up again yesterday with morning sickness. I NEVER had it this late with Luke. Thank goodness I've stayed on top of all my medicine refills. I really needed them yesterday and today.

Happy Easter!
of course outtakes are the best:

and the real picture :) There is a baby bump there- promise! She'll be here in 6.5 weeks!

Next week is SPRING BREAK. Whooo wheeeee! I need a break and my kids need a break for sure! We don't have huge plans, but I am keeping Luke out of school the whole week and we are going to the Biltmore Estate/Farm on Thursday. He LOVES animals right now and I can't wait for him to experience that! I have my big coupon trip planned and we may even make it to Marietta for a night. Just going to play it all by ear. Looking forward to not having to do ANYTHING for 9 days. Sounds like prime time to catch up on sitting... on the couch... and lounging in sweat pants!

A little distracted...

If it seems like I've been a little distracted lately, it's because I have been. In a way I feel like I've been living a lie. Almost 4 months are a long time to keep a secret when you are busting with excitement to share! Heck I couldn't even last 7 weeks to announce this pregnancy! Also,  I can't believe I'm even typing this and that everything I've ever wanted is about to happen.

We have decided as a family that I won't be returning to work in the Fall. It feels surreal saying that. I feel like I've been hiding a deep dark secret and it is such a relief to finally get it out.

There were many things that had to work just perfectly. That's part of the reason why we didn't announce it earlier. We wanted to be 150% sure that we could do this. We wanted to make sure all our ducks were in a row before we made this huge leap of faith.

It's a huge leap of faith because deciding to stay home with my babies also means giving up 45% of our income. There were times during this decision process (as we worked through our budget) that I literally got cold, clammy, and nauseated thinking about it. At my 20 week appointment the first week of January we were in the middle of deciding all this and my blood pressure was through the roof. There have been nights that I'm kept awake thinking of all the unknowns. Amazingly enough there is always a still small voice that sends a calm over my emotions and reminds me that life is never what we plan, but the Lord always provides for us what we need.

I've come to realize that no amount of money will preserve the preciousness of my children being babies. I knew the second I dropped Luke off the day my maternity leave ended (with a sitter who we GREATLY trusted with our lives) that it just didn't feel "normal". Why am I letting someone else watch his milestones? As we transitioned him to daycare there were more days than not that I drove away crying. He would be crying in someone else's arms and I would be crying during my 10 minute drive to work.

I must admit that as he got older, it got easier. He loves preschool. He loves his teachers and his friends. But I love him more and there is no one in the world who can take our place. Josh and I both said that if we could ever make it work for me to stay home, then we would. There were also practical reasons. Although both kids would only be in daycare for a year (together), that bill per month was going to be 1/3 of my paycheck. 33%!!! It seems ridiculous to be working my tail off and paying someone else 1/3 of what I make to watch my kids. Also the price of daycare per month would exceed our mortgage payment by $200- am I the only one that thinks this is ridiculous?!

Also, if I'm being honest- which I try to keep it real around here- I tended to give my family the leftovers of my emotions, my energy, and my love. It hurts to even type that- but it's the truth and many times the truth hurts. I know there will be many more exhausting days- I will no longer have the "full time job" excuse. Josh and I split our roles wonderfully while I worked full time and we really fell into a great routine during the school year- and I'm well aware that most of that will now be on me. There are many times he can keep a better home than me (keeping things organized, cleaning, keeping up with finances, etc.) but these are the days I will never get back. And these are the days that I will look back on when my children are grown and I want to have no regrets- no "what ifs"- no "why didn't we at least TRY to make that work".

By stepping away I became a statistic. 30% of new teachers flee after 3 years, 45% after 5 years. I'm  just now finishing my fifth year.  I have the rest of my life to work- and right now we feel an overwhelming calling to me staying home.

After alot of hard work paying off debt and busting our tails to make sure everything is in place we are ready to take the plunge. We began living off 1 paycheck in January which meant that every penny of my paycheck went/is going directly toward debt (car loan), daycare (since Luke will be there until after the baby is born), and tithe (since I still have a paycheck until August). When I say every penny was allocated some where, I mean every penny. Most months we are making a $1200 payment (although we only "had" to pay $350) to our auto loan. What a relief to see that debt paid down so quickly. We even asked ourselves- why didn't we live off 1 income and viciously pay off debt like this 3 years ago?? We figured that the more income we could free up, the less I would "have to make", and the more likely that all this would work out. We figured up a one income budget and stuck to it. No unnecessary expenses. No cutting corners. Sometimes it's hard to face the facts and just say "NO" to things we don't need. But if we are going to trust the Lord in this decision, we also have to hold up our end of the bargain... living within our means.

None of us know what the future holds. Things feel stable now, but I'm not naive enough to understand how quickly that can change. I know that I am quitting one full time job to take on another and that my days aren't always going to be filled with hugs, kisses, and rainbows. I've had a taste of that during the summers since Luke has been born. But I also know the time is right. I trust that the Lord would have slammed this door shut with everything that needed to work out just perfectly if it wasn't what we were supposed to do.  It feels weird to have my maternity leave smashed in with my resignation, but I am super grateful for the awesome benefits of the school system- like having health insurance until September and a paycheck until August.

I'd be lying if I said I'm "taking it easy" and "preparing for baby". The next few weeks will be a hustle to wrap up the school year, clean my classroom, sort through/move my personal belongings home all while being nearly full term with this pregnancy. I can't wait for this next step in the journey; at the same time I feel like it'll be a while before I catch my breath. But we're excited. I can't thank our families and friends enough for the support they've given us. I almost felt defeated to "break the news" to them because everyone knows how hard we have worked to be where we are today. All our plans have been met with overwhelming optimism and excitement for this next phase of life and for the first time in a while I can honestly say that I can't wait for what the future holds!

So until then, I'll keep fighting from the trenches...I am determined to finish this year strong!

More nursery progress...

Emberly's nursery left off here. We had made a TON of progress, but there was still a ways to go! I got pretty burned out from painting the room and the closet, so I took some time away. I don't even think I went in there for a couple weeks. I just needed time away to think about how/what I was going to do next.

Sure enough inspiration came. The changes have been small but dramatic!

The crib mobile that we got at one of Luke's showers was cute but a little gender neutral.
There is nothing gender neutral about this room... so I grabbed some extra curtain material and made the coverings pink! It was as easy as pulling them off, cutting around them, sewing them wrong sides together and flipping them right side out!
I made this printable from a well known quote. I love it so I always wanted it to be in sight. It's now hanging to the right of the main windows.
I whipped up some cloth wipes too. Once again I used a thrifting find to make this happen. The flannel side is make from cut up receiving blankets that I picked up for $1 at Goodwill. The terry cloth side is made from towels I picked up at the thrift store as well. After a few washes (and they'll get a final wash in a few weeks) they are good as new! We are planning to cloth diaper this little one, and cloth wipes are SUPER easy to use with CDs.
We still use Luke's cloth wipes ALL the time. They are great boogie wipes and can double as a washcloth in a pinch. They've held up great over the past 2 years. I made them when he was 1.
eeek all these diapering supplies make me happy!
I shared Monday how I made the lamp in here. This is one of my favorite projects to date in the room!
Her closet still needs alot of work. I just don't love it yet- BUT we are well on our way there. I grabbed some cheap Dollar Tree storage baskets to corral some toys and linens. Dollar store storage baskets are SUPER affordable and adorable (and many times customizable with vinyl!).

I also grabbed a $1 laundry basket for her stuffed animals. I also got Luke one. He was thrilled that they have matching stuffed animal baskets!
We bought the last shade for the third window. I mentioned in the last nursery post that we were debating between room darkening and blackout shades. We went with blackout shades on the western side of the house and room darkening on the north side. There was a $10 price difference, and now the room is plenty dark. So glad we went with them!

What's left?

Since this was my original inspiration for the color scheme of our nursery:
...I thought it would only be fitting to put her monogram over her crib. Wall hangings over cribs get dicey (since once they are old/tall enough they could pull a frame down), so I decided to do the monogram in vinyl. No pulling it down and it'll nicely fill up the wall! Win-win. It's my next "to-do".

Filling the 2 black frames over the rocking chair:
Starting the collage on the wall over the futon- I want this to be a work in progress so no rush.
{this picture was obviously before the lamp shade re-do}

I'd love to make pillows for the futon. This may be something that'll wait until later- we'll just have to see how my energy holds up.

and finish hemming the curtains-still not done...

I also want to tackle the closet- closet dividers by size, and maybe some storage for the top. I just need to think on it a bit more and maybe gain some inspiration from pinterest.

Long term I'd love to refinish that end table. Her big girl bed will be white, so I would love to paint it down the road.

I'm thinking I'll have one more update before we call it done! May 15th is coming fast!

Bright idea

When I have a little extra time I love thrifting! Unfortunately my "best" finds are when I'm out of town. So I have to merge a Goodwill/thrifting trip with my monthly Target/Publix/Aldi trip... which makes for a pretty exhausting day.

Back in July/August I came across a lamp at Goodwill. I loved the curves, loathed the brass. After a quick test to make sure it worked in the store, I bought it for $4. I knew it had a future somewhere in our home, but I wasn't sure where.
It crossed my mind to paint it red and put it in Luke's room- but we really don't need any other light in there (we use the overhead one and a small table one at night for reading/winding down).

So I stuck it in the attic in my project box, hoping to use it someday. September gave us a +pregnancy test and the excitement of getting to work on a nursery again. But we didn't find out what we were having until December- so the lamp sat.

Of course I did my fair share of Pinning in the meantime and came across some "to die for" lamps. Here was some inspiration:
After the whole nursery came together, I decided to put the side table next to the futon and introduce the lamp to its new home. Since the walls were already painted gray, painting the lamp pink was the pretty clear choice. I toyed with painting it white and having a pink shade; but there is just something so girly about a pink curvy lamp!
I picked up the white shade at IKEA- it was maybe $10?

I've said it before and I'll say it again- Rust-Oleum's spray paint is the best stuff ever. The selection of Krylon colors in our local stores are SUPER tempting, but Rust-Oleum's coverage can't be beat. And with a little extra work (and a few more dollars) you can find just as many beautiful R-O colors.

I keep a "cheat sheet" of R-O's colors in my home binder. I picked up the pamphlet at our local Home Depot- they only carry 5-6 colors but R-O makes 55-60 colors. I have used the pamphlet twice to color match whatever accent color I'm trying to pull in the room and then I order the paint from Amazon. Amazon's prices are comparable to buying it in the store.

I used the Key Lime for our baskets over our laundry room cabinets. This time I ordered the Gloss Candy Pink. Once again it did NOT disappoint!
I mentioned that I grabbed the shade at IKEA for $10. I knew I wanted to make the shade a "ruffle" shade, so I kept my eyes out at thrift stores for a plain white sheet that I planned to cut up and repurpose. I ended up finding curtains that served the same purpose. Total spent? $1.
I started off by cutting the curtain (there were 2 of them) into 4 inch strips.
It really helped that the edges were already hemmed! It saved me some major time by working with what I had.
Next I sewed a casing. Basically I sewed the strips together (wrong sides facing each other).
I ended up with 12 long "tubes" of white curtain.
I flipped them inside out so the right side of the material was facing out.

Next with the hem centered on the back of the tube, I ran a "basting" stitch (or gathering stitch) down the middle of the tube. This way there were no rough edges and my original hem was hidden on the back. This is a picture of the back- if you look closely you can see 2 lines (the hem and the basting).
Pulling the thread carefully I began to gather. If you don't know how to gather it is seriously like the easiest thing ever. Look it up on youtube! And the results are pretty dramatic!
I gathered most of the tubes before I ever started attaching it to the shade. Here was the shade waiting for her makeover:
I started hot gluing the ruffles on the shade where the shade came together. I figured this part would be in the back.  This picture shows what happened when I finished one tube and had to start another without making it too obvious. I rolled over/glued the next tube to make it seamless.
It took some playing with the gathers to make sure one side wasn't over gathered/undergathered. Once I got going it went pretty fast.
I used tiny dots of hot glue along the way.
I would get going really fast and then run out of material... stop to get a new row going, and continue on. It took 7 "tubes" to finish. I was thrilled when I got to the end and the tube was the perfect length!
And here she is on the nightstand- all pink and girly!
Oh- and I can't wait to get my paws on that $20 thrift store side table! Oh the possibilities!
Luke liked how it felt :)
I'm not really sure how I'm going to clean it when it gets dusty? Maybe with a vacuum attachment? I'll cross that bridge later- for now I'm going to enjoy it!

Oh and for a price breakdown:
Lamp: $4
Shade: $10
Spray paint (which I used maybe 1/3 of the bottle): $9
Curtain: $1
Thread/hot glue: already owned
Total: $24!
Time spent: around 3 hours (1 hour one night, and 2 hours the next afternoon)

As a comparison- a quick google search brought up this shade from Pottery Barn:

The shade alone is $49!

And here's a bubble lamp for $59:

Weekly Update: 3/18-3/22

I had so much to update last week that I totally forgot about the sweetest event that took place! Luke and his daddy camped out in the backyard for the first time! I didn't remember until I went through my camera card and saw the pictures. Just thought I'd share:
They set up the tent that afternoon. Luke was SO excited about sleeping outside!

They went out right when it got dark. Luke made sure to have his flashlight ready. They read books, talked, and snuggled and I came out when it was Bible time to read the story.
Sadie slept with them. She'll sleep anywhere as long as her daddy is there.

All in all everyone had a great night! I haven't been alone in my house... ever. No dog, husband, or child. It was a strange feeling!
Other than that this week has been pretty uneventful. I have been in over my head with tantrums... and a little boy who freaks out whenever he doesn't get his way. Standing my ground is hard, but I know it's the right thing.

Thursday was incredible kid day and we wrote Luke a letter telling him what a great kid he is.

I had my 31 week appointment on Tuesday. I measured a week behind, but my doctor was pleased with everything else! We set a date and got confirmation from the hospital that surgery is scheduled for May 15! We couldn't be happier!

I ran to the bi-yearly consignment sale in our neighboring county. I got some really cute clothes for little man for this summer. I love that place and I love getting shirts for $2! It's like I never have to shop sales at major stores because I know they'll be affordable there.

Tomorrow I get the morning off because Josh is taking Luke to his first workshop at Lowes.  Can't wait to see pictures. I love that my husband is so eager to do things with our little man. It makes my heart so happy!