Wednesday, February 25, 2015


When we first saw this house, from the outside, we were in love. When Spencer walked in and saw (out the windows) the backyard/lot, he was sold. Done. Nothing mattered after that. I didn't quite put those blinders up so fast. I hated the kitchen. Another thing that I don't like is the step-down living room. But I can't fix that. Lastly....some of the paint colors are pretty bad. Well, WERE bad. I only have two rooms left that need to be changed in the near future. There was a LOT of lime green in this house. But it is more like avocado green. And when the ceilings are painted the same, it's just horrid.

Sadie's room came first. It was a true blue and I didn't mind the blue but I did in my little girl's room. I painted it a gray I got for $10 in the mis-tinted section of Lowe's. It looks a little periwinkle in her room because of the off white ceiling and off white trim, but I like it. Way better.

I had a little "helper."


The lighting isn't good but it looks way better. I have since put stuff on the walls - I will post pictures of her cute room some other time.

Here was Emma's room. She has such a great room - it is huge and has the best view in the house. But wow the color. She was so patient and didn't nag me to change it. I knew it would take a long time but I had to paint the ceilings too, and that was hard. Oh man, I don't like painting ceilings.

And here it is now (it is cleaner now though). I did the same gray that is in the living room and kitchen and it looks great in her room. She likes to change accessories pretty often so having a neutral gray on the walls makes those changes way easier. Now to get stuff up on HER walls. And find new curtains or something that will match...

Her bathroom and jack and jill were also green.
And look 100x better now. Also had to paint the ceilings white, from green. (I had soreness in muscles I didn't know I had after painting all those ceilings...)

I also painted the dining room. One more HOORAY for snow days (more on that later). I didn't hate the dining room, but wanted fresher and brighter. I thought this color would have a bit more green to it but I still love it. This is the first room when you walk in the house. It needed a facelift. (This blue is also in our guest bathroom, and I really like it in there. For now. Ha.)


I love it!! It does feel much brighter. I never realized until about 10 years ago just how much paint can change the look and feel of a house. It does so much to spruce it up. The only white walls in this entire house are in our walk-in closets. :)

That ugly green color is still in one more room (well, two: the craft room and connecting laundry room), but I think I need about a month of recovery before I take that on.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


One of the reasons we bought this house is that we have A TON OF SPACE for visitors. I feel like in our day to day we don't even use about 1/3-1/2 of this house. We wanted to have a lot of places for our kids and their friends when they are older.

Tyson and Kristina and (cute!) family came the day after Christmas for a week. It was so fun to have our first visitors, who are our closest family members at 9 hours away in Austin. The downside was that it was FREEZING the absolute entire time they were here, and we had sickness going on (luckily just our family and not theirs) so it wasn't as fun as it could have been. But our cousins got a lot of play time and that was the most important. These kids are CUTE and little Parker was just so adorable and sweet.

The day after the Smith's left to go home, we started on our kitchen remodel. That was pretty much done after two weeks, and that night my DAD arrived! The kids were SO EXCITED for Papa to come.

We hiked to Crystal Bridges, toured a cave (way cooler than I was expecting at first glance) and Dad was a total workhorse! He replaced electrical stuff, helped us figure out home theater stuff, put together a few pieces of furniture, played with the kids, ran through our neighborhood, toured the Walmart museum, taught us how to make kettle corn, etc. It was fun, and the kids were so happy to have Papa here for a full week (and me too!).

We love visitors! We want more!

Saturday, February 7, 2015


Often, VERY often, I forget Emma is only 11. Technically still a child yet so far removed from childhood. She is so grown up and mature, she bakes, she shares my shoes and wants to share more, and she is a great friend.

Emma is keenly tuned in to those around her. She knows when I need a minute and don't want to talk to anyone, she knows when I am at my wits end with Sadie and handles it (read: saves Sadie's life), she just understands social cues and can even hold her own in adult conversations.

Emma has handled the move and the HUGE changes that came with that SO well. She is flourishing in her new school and with her new friends. Last week when I was driving her to tennis she told me she already likes it better here than she liked California because she feels like she fits in better. That made me sad, but it also reassured me that we made the right choice to move here because we really felt like it would be the best thing for our family.

Emma is competitive. Oh MAN she is competitive. When we got our ping pong table and I beat her handily she made a goal to beat me and worked her tail off until she beat me once. She wants to be the best at everything and (a fault) if she isn't good at a sport instantly she resists doing it again. We encouraged her to try basketball here, right after we moved here, and she did! She struggled learning a game that everyone else knew already and her first game was a huge learning experience. Her second game was today and she was ready to go. She made 3 baskets, for 1/4 of her team's total points. Watching her was incredible - what a difference in just one week. She is happy when she is the best. We are working on her being happy always, not just when she is the best. (She takes after her dad.)

Emma is good at tennis. For the first time (and likely the last) I am letting her do two sports at the same time. She plays tennis at the Walton Fitness Center. On her first day she had been on a 5 month tennis break so she was rusty. She took out her frustration on me after practice, but pulled herself together and the next week kicked it up a few notches. I love watching her in sports because she is so determined. A "don't care" attitude is not in her make-up. She likes to whoop the other boys in her tennis class.

Emma is really good at piano. She enjoys it and plays all the time. Even in this big house I feel like the piano tune carries everywhere...sometimes good and sometimes bad. I am glad she is determined and that we found a new teacher here so quickly.

She pretty much is awesome. I am so so glad she came first. I am so glad she is 11 now - we officially have a baby-sitter!!! This responsible, beautiful, wonderful girl is such a blessing.

 ^^Opening her bday present from her dad (fresh out of bed) - a charm bracelet.