“Mama, it’s beautiful!”

So, this post was originally supposed to be published in August. I titled it and that was as far as I got before life got too crazy to even think about blogging.

Late last Spring, Mike and I went to an estate sale. We didn’t find much of anything to bring home, but we did find an awesome old ironing board. I love old ironing boards made in the ’50s and ’60s. They were made very sturdy and didn’t easily tip over. So, when we found the board in the basement of the house, we just had to rescue it. I don’t think I have a before picture, but the cover was a mess and the whole board sat downstairs in the basement for a couple of months.

Because of the ironing board’s age and sturdiness, I doubted that I would find a cover for it that would fit, so I went to JoAnn’s and found an awesome, vintage looking fabric. It matched the original color of the ironing board legs and was exactly what I was looking for. The original cover had a really neat fitted pad under it. I tried washing it, but it disintegrated in my washing machine. (It wasn’t one of my finer laundry moments.) So, I recreated the pad, which is way nicer than anything I would find in the store.  Below is how I made the ironing board pad and cover. I’m sorry that this isn’t a step-by-step picture tutorial.

To make the pad, I turned the ironing board upside down onto a piece of craft paper and traced around the top to make a pattern. Then I used that pattern to cut out 2 layers of cotton batting. I made my own bias tape out of the fabric, and cut two pieces of fabric for either end of the board and sewed all of the layers together. It fit snugly and was just what I wanted.

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I made two covers for my board. First I used the silver metallic ironing board fabric from JoAnn’s which is under my pretty cover. To make both covers I used my pattern and then marked 3″ from the edge of the pattern with pins and then cut the fabric out. I made a small casing and then threaded string through the casing. If I get a chance, I will probably take the string out and put elastic in. I think that it would make for a slightly tighter fit.

IMGP8536I love how it turned out. Things iron much better on this board than my old one and I don’t have to worry about tipping this board over because it was built so well. My favorite part of the project was when Katy came into my room after it was finished. She had just gotten up from her nap and came into my room when she noticed the ironing board cover. She looked at it and said, “Mama, it’s beautiful!” How sweet is that?

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Good News

Many things have happened since I last updated my blog. The renter we thought was moving into our house didn’t work out so we tried selling our house again. We prayed for guidance and God provided. A former neighbor, who is a realtor, offered to do our property management. Within a couple of weeks hiring her we had a tenant move in. He seems to be a good fit and we are very happy.

So, the good news is we are now able to put a little more money toward the remodeling of our house. Speaking of which, here it is.
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There are so many things that we need to do to make it ours. We never did get around to painting the walls in most of the house. We ended up moving in before we got a chance. Most of the walls got at least one coat of primer to seal in the smoke stains that were on them. I did paint our bedroom a nice gray. Honestly, that is the only color we’ve decided on so far. I am not good a picking out paint colors and didn’t get the help that I had hoped for. Maybe by this fall we will start painting again.

In the mean time we ripped out all of the drywall in our main bathroom. I hope to have that back together again soon and then start on our master bath. The main reason for messing with the bathrooms (besides the very nasty shower surround in the main bathroom and the mostly unusable shower in the master bathroom) was because the plumbing needed to be moved. At one time the house only had one main bathroom upstairs. When it was remodeled in the late 60s they ran the plumbing below the floor joists, thus making it necessary to drop the ceiling in the kitchen. Now a sane person would have probably left the ceiling the way it was, after all it was still 8 ft high and drywalled. That being said, I never claimed to be sane. 🙂 So, we are going to put the ceiling back to 9 ft. In doing so we regained the top of a really neat built-in cabinet that is in the kitchen.

Before:

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After:

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In the second picture you can see that I don’t have any drywall on my ceiling right now. As a matter of fact, I don’t have any upper kitchen cabinets and the lower cabinets I do have are going to be replaced someday. My kitchen remodel is going to be a long drawn out process, I think. I have hopes that it will look nice someday.

So, now you can see what has been consuming our time along with regular life events and having an intelligent toddler in the house.

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Craziness

I cannot believe that it is already November. My third anniversary will soon be here. In some ways the time has just flown by. In other ways, I feel like Mike and I have been through a lifetime of things together. I love my husband so much. I am so very grateful that God brought Mike into my life. Also, having Katy is the most wonderful thing that has happened to me since marriage. She is such fun! She is really starting to talk and communicate more. One week she was barely saying anything and the next week she is saying words and pointing to things. Yesterday she pointed to a picture of Winnie-the-Pooh and said “Pooh.” Then I was able to get her to say Rabbit and to hoot like Owl. She will also say “eye” while pointing to (or poking) my eye or her eye.

Things have been crazy around here. We are currently working on priming the walls of our new house. I think I have paint colors picked out, but it is hard when you are starting all from scratch. Well, it is for me anyway. I didn’t grow up constantly changing paint colors or decor. Thankfully I have a sister-in-law that is willing to help me out. Yay! Hopefully by this weekend we will work on sanding our floors. It is a daunting project considering that the only rooms in our 2200 sq. ft. house that don’t have wood floors are the kitchen, bathrooms and back entry. Yikes! Once those are done I’ll be happy. Then we can start packing things up and moving them. Yes, you’ve read correctly, I haven’t started packing yet. Call me crazy, but my theory is that if I start packing, Katy is going to try and unpack said boxes or add things to the boxes while I’m not looking. I don’t really have anywhere to store the boxes here at this house so I’m waiting until I’m ready to move them. Call me lazy, but I’m hoping that there won’t be too much that will actually have to go into boxes.

Hopefully, by the first of the year we will have renters in our current house. Please pray that the couple that is interested in renting from us will be able to quickly find good jobs here in the area. I know that God is in control of the situation and that we are trying to follow his leading. Even so, it is very easy to worry instead of casting all of my cares on Him.

Thank you Father for your guidance and provision. You are an awesome God!

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Our Trip to Savannah

What a whirlwind trip! The drive to Savannah with a baby/almost toddler in tow is about 13 hours from my house. For those of you who know me well, it has been a long time since I’ve been okay with travelling in a car for any long distances. But, when I knew that my brother was reaching a milestone in his career and that it would be nice if we could be there to witness it, I decided to do something I never thought I would do…go to Savannah. The trip itself was uneventful and beautiful. I was able to see parts of Ohio and West Virginia that I had never seen before. We also drove through three states that I hadn’t even been in before: Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

My mother also came with Mike, Katy and me. David didn’t know that she was coming. (As a matter of fact, the whole trip ended up being a last minute decision anyway.) David came over to our hotel room when we got into town. Mom opened the door and was standing behind it so he couldn’t see her. The look on his face was great because he could see all of us in the room and was wondering who had opened the door. He was shocked to see my mom.

The next day, Friday, we went to his ceremony and then spent the afternoon/evening walking around downtown and along the river. The Tall Ships event was going on, so we were able to see a lot of neat sailing ships that had come into the harbor. River Street was fascinating, though a bit crowded. That was the first time I had ever walked on real cobblestones. The cobblestones were a challenge to push the stroller on. There really wasn’t enough time to see the entire city or experience everything, but it was neat.

On Saturday we spent the whole day with David. He took us to Forsyth Park. It is a neat place to walk around. The fountain is beautiful and the Spanish moss on the trees gives the park a neat atmosphere. The houses in that neighborhood are quite amazing. It was rather hot so we didn’t linger there too long. We drove out to Tybee Island and then went to the beach. That was Katy’s first experience of a beach and the first time I had seen the ocean since I was about 10. Katy loved playing in the water and crawling around in the sand. At one point she was even crawling on the beach in the edge of the water. She didn’t try to eat the sand, but the shells seemed quite tasty to her. There was once that my mom asked me what she was putting in her mouth. I looked down at her just in time to see her stuffing a shell into her mouth and then giving me the most innocent look. She was mad when I fished the shell out of her mouth. After getting cleaned up we went to a restaurant called Johnny Harris. The building was amazing inside, sort of like a dinner club from the fifties, and the food was tasty.

After we went back to the hotel and got Katy in bed, Mike and I left her and my mom and went to the Laundromat. I had chosen to cloth diaper Katy while on the trip since I really didn’t want to buy disposables. We had picked out a hotel that had laundry facilities, but when we arrived we found out that the washer and dryer were out of order. sad So, at 10 at night we had to drive to a coin laundry and try to stay awake long enough to get her diapers washed and dried. For those who have ever thought of cloth diapering while on a trip, it really wasn’t that bad. I brought along everything I would normally have at the house and only had to do laundry once while we were there. The one thing I learned is that you should always call the hotel and make sure that their laundry facilities are in order before booking a room.

Sunday was a much more laid back day. We (Mike, Mom, Katy and I) went to a botanical garden and walked around and then ate lunch. Apparently no one ever picnics in that area because the flies were evil. There was a little bit of baby food on a napkin that they could get to and there were probably 10 flies on it. Yuck! Needless to say we didn’t hang out there very long. After that we went to visit David who had had to work the night before and visited with him for awhile. We watched a movie while Katy played. Katy got so tired and fussy that finally I just went and laid her down on the floor in David’s office and she fell promptly asleep. When it was time to leave I started crying because I miss my brother and I wish that he hadn’t moved so far away.

Monday was once again a day of travel. The weather was mostly okay until evening. There was a little bit of rain in the mountains, but it didn’t cause any problems. We came home a different way than then way we went down. We did so so that we could visit Smokey Mountain Knife Works. Mike had never been there before. We could have probably spent the rest of the day there, but we wanted to get home so we had to kind of rush. I helped drive part of the way home and some of that was through some nasty rain. Up until that point Mike, my road warrior husband, had done all of the driving. Personally, I’m not really sure how anyone can drive that long, but obviously, there are a lot of amazing people out there who can just get in the car and drive.

I am so grateful that God granted us safe travel. It was great to be able to see my brother and visit with him. It was also nice to go somewhere and see new things and watch Katy as she was discovering and playing and being her sweet self. The trip went so well that I am almost looking forward to doing more travelling in the future. happy

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Sleep Deprivation

I wonder what the long term, cumulative effects of sleep deprivation is?  After waking from a much needed nap I went to put a load of laundry into the dryer from the washer and started it up.  A while later (though it seemed like a shorter time than it should have been) the dryer was finished and I went to go get the laundry.  I noticed when I pulled the laundry out of the dryer that the load seemed small and when I opened the washer I realized that I hadn’t pulled all of the previous load out of the washer before adding the next load.  So, some of my clothes were washed twice. sad  At least it was the medium load mixed with the whites.

So, for any of you mommies out there…What are some of the things you’ve done in your sleep deprived state of existence???

Let me just say I appreciate all the women out there who are trying to be God-honoring wives and mothers.  It isn’t an easy task to balance being a wife and a mother sometimes.  Actually, it is overwhelming at times.  I can honestly say that I am beginning to understand why Christian mothers talk about crying out to God so much.  I love my little family, but I do feel the pull on my emotions and sanity. happy  Praise the Lord that I have a wonderful husband who loves me even when I am not as nice as I should be!

Katy is growing and achieving so many things right now.  Her cutest thing from the past two days is that she is sticking her tongue out more while she is playing or eating.  She is so adorable!  She is also moving around a lot more and grabbing everything.  It is amazing how much an almost 7 month old can do even though she isn’t crawling forward yet.  Another milestone from yesterday was that she actually rode inside the shopping cart seat while we were doing our errands.  Normally I leave her in her car seat or carry her or put her in my wrap, but I made a shopping cart seat cover and was able to use it yesterday.  She looked so grown up.  Yet again, mama’s lesson learned, Katy will try and grab whatever is on the shelf if it is in reach.  At least she didn’t pull anything off of the shelf and break it.  I love this age.

 

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A Long Week

This past week has been long and trying. I’m sure that mothers all over the world dread when their precious little babies get sick.  This is what I have had to deal with. As sickness goes, we were blessed that it was only a head cold. But my, did it sound bad! Katy started out with a cough that was quite mild. As a matter of fact, I thought that she was just fake coughing. She is at that age that she makes different sounds for the fun of it. Unfortunately the cough was real and it kept getting worse. Then she started sneezing more too. Now, I am not one that believes in running to the doctor for every little thing, but she sounded so bad that Mike and I were worried that the congestion was in her lungs. Thankfully it wasn’t. I now have a new appreciation for what my mother and all mothers go through when their babies are sick. Katy and I spent some very restless nights. The only way that she would sleep at night was if I was holding her somewhat upright in my arms. Finally, after a couple of nights, we got wise and propped her mattress up and that really helped her breathe better.

Babies are so amazing.  The whole time she was sick she was still trying to play and she would still smile. But then she would start to fuss because she was so miserable. It was heartbreaking. Now that I have the cold, I understand the tears and the cries. I have wanted to cry too. I felt miserable and I didn’t have the desire to smile at much of anything. Today has been better, though staying up late will probably make me feel miserable tomorrow. The only reason why I am up is because Mike was on a business trip yesterday and today. His flight just landed and he’ll be home soon. Yay! Having him home will make me feel better.

There is one blessing I wanted to share in this fairly random, not well thought out post. Yesterday, before Mike left, I was worrying because we couldn’t find his inhaler. He doesn’t typically need it, but I prefer that if he is flying that he take it with him. Well, I was starting to panic about the fact that he wasn’t going to have it with him so I prayed that God would just calm my heart about it. As Mike was taking things to the car I asked him if he had checked in the trunk and he said no, but he would. When he opened up the trunk he found his inhaler. Praise the Lord! My burden was immediately lifted. I’m sure that he didn’t need it, but my God cares enough about me and my fears that He showed us where the inhaler was at. I am so grateful!

So, now that Katy is better and I’m on the mend hopefully this coming week will return to normal.

 

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A New Year

After spending quite a bit of time updating the layout of my Xanga, I am finally able to write a new post. Most of last year I couldn’t change the theme of my blog and it was driving me crazy. After struggling I realized that the simple fix was to just download and use Firefox as my “Xanga browser.” Internet Explorer and Chrome seem to hate Xanga…at least on my computer anyway.

So, yeah…it has been almost a year since I last edited my blog and even that edit wasn’t really much about the huge changes that were happening in my life. Last year was so busy. I started working at the West Alexandria library in August of 2010 and then found out I was pregnant in November of that year. Because of the previous miscarriage I didn’t share with anyone, other than close family the wonderful news about the baby until the end of December. The Lord blessed me with a really easy pregnancy. Sure, there were days of extreme exhaustion, especially at the beginning, but I have nothing to complain about. I think that working at the library really helped to keep me active and it helped keep me from getting too worried or depressed or anxious. I ended up quitting my job in May 2011 so that I could be home to prepare for my little one’s arrival. At that point, it felt so wonderful to be home, to be able to sew and organize; it was great!

When June came, I was ready for the baby to be born, but I wasn’t very uncomfortable, at least not in the way that most people talk about, and was willing to wait as long as it took for her to come. On my due date, I went to see the midwife. When they checked me they thought they felt a hand. After a long and scary wait for an ultrasound, our fears were confirmed. The baby was breech. That left us with two options; they could schedule a c-section or they could try a version either of which would be scheduled for the next day. I opted for the version. There was a lot of fear there and disappointment. This isn’t what I planned. I wanted to have a low intervention birth. There was a lot of praying done that night.

The next morning I was admitted into the hospital and hooked up to an IV. The doctor came and with 2 midwives, a resident, and a student watching, he was able to turn the baby. Let me just say, even with the painkillers, it was quite painful. I was so excited that I wouldn’t have to have a c-section.  Of course, I should have gone home then because the Pitocin didn’t really start my labor and it was the next day before they decided to break my water. I won’t go into all of the details, but it was a very long labor with an epidural (that I never was going to have) that numbed me to high and caused a panic attack, using suction to try and get the baby out, and then finally an emergency c-section. By the end of the whole ordeal I was actually okay with the c-section. Though afterward, I was so sad because I wasn’t able to see my baby born into this world because they had to use general anesthesia. It was wonderful to hold my baby when I woke up. We named her Kathryn Harriet; her middle name is after my grandmother.

 

Now Katy is 6 months old. Where has the time gone? She is sitting up mostly unassisted, eating solid food, and attempting to move around more and more each day. She is such a blessing to me and to Mike. We are overwhelmed by the love we have for her and the joy that she is. Being a parent is wonderful and scary all at the same time. There are times of great trial, but mostly I am overjoyed to watch her develop and discover new things.

 

Only God knows what this new year will bring, but I am excited about the possibilities.

 

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