[DIY] Toddler/Nursery Decorations!

Well, my husband keeps giving me a hard time because apparently I’m “nesting.” I just think that I finally HAVE the TIME to make some decor for the kids’ rooms, and that’s the main reason I knocked out three projects today… 🙂 I will admit it’s a LITTLE bit of nesting. Either way, I got some projects done which is the biggest thing… who cares if it’s nesting or internal motivation 🙂

I feel like I’ve been making excuses for a while now on why I don’t do more projects around the house. Normally, I am afraid of doing projects because I am afraid of messing them up or that they will look bad or that I will waste my money even trying or even worse, waste my precious time doing them! But I found all this silly when I know that if I have simply directions, I’m normally pretty good at following them. AND, I believe in being frugal yet still having a welcoming home for our family and friends. When there is stuff on the walls, a home just feels so much more like a HOME instead of a house. And when that stuff is personalized, I think it’s even better (but that might just be my opinion).

Anyway, I’ve been spending most of my pregnancy so far searching on Pinterest (duh!) for easy projects that even I can do! On a side note, I think my first pregnancy I spent most of my time on babycenter.com 🙂 The projects I chose were all so easy I did MOST of the work (like 90%) during Sky’s 2-hour nap today, and then I finished the rest up after he went to sleep (in between dishes and packing bags for the next day, etc). So, if I can do it… YOU can do it!

The first project I completed today, (although this is not toddler room related), is I updated our door wreath. Well, it’s more like a wall wreath because it’s on the wall of the porch by the front door… but anywayyy that’s a technicality! I made the burlap wreath during the winter months, so all I did today was create a bow, the hanging strip, and painted the “w”. I got the idea from this little cutie on Etsy. I might still add some peonies or something to make it a little more spring-y, but I’m pretty happy with it! Soooo easy! Which is what I love about it 🙂

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Next, I decorated these little letters which are my son’s initials! STW

We’ve had them for a while (ahem… since before he was born 1.5yr ago…), and yes, I am just now getting around to decorating them…don’t judge! Anyway, I was going to paint them with my fancy, schmancy acrylic paint but I wanted something more than just plain “blue” or “red” (our colors for his room I’ve decided), and I’m really not that good at painting, so of course, off to Pinterest I went again. I found an easy tutorial on how to glue scrapebooking paper on top (I know, you’re thinking it’s pretty lame I had to look this up in the first place… but I’m new to all this). I found out that all I needed were scissors, Modge Podge, the paper, and the letters! Awesome! Again, super duper easy decorations for his wall! I went to Hobby Lobby and found some paper that matched our color scheme:

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And voila….here’s the finished pic! The hardest part was cutting along the lines… 🙂

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Finally, my favorite part about today was making these two door hangers for Sky’s and Zoey’s (yup, that’s our little girl’s name) bedrooms! They will hang on their doors so that we won’t ever forget whose room is whose. Haha. Can’t a mommy just do something because she thinks it’s cute? Sheesh! I got the idea from here. (The site was in Spanish so really I just looked at the pictures! Who needs written directions when you have enough pics???) Anyway, off to Hobby Lobby, Sky and I went this morning to get the supplies for this little project. Thankfully I already had the paint (which I will be using for another little animal decoration later on) I just needed the letters. Sky wasn’t nearly as much of a tornado this time around at the store, which I was very thankful for since it is getting hard to bend down with this big belly in the way!

Here are a couple of pictures of the project along the way. I still have to put the white ribbon on the top of it so we will be able to hang it up, but otherwise pretty much done!

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Hope you were inspired a little by these projects! I know I had a ton of fun making them, and hopefully I will continue making some of our home decorations even when I’m NOT nesting 🙂

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New Found [Talking] Skills!

Well, it’s been quite a break! I started a new job last summer, and I finished up my masters In December so I didn’t quite have the motivation to blog this past fall. But lately, I’ve been finding myself thinking often about you all. About those interested in life with Sky! Oh, well, I hope you missed me 🙂

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Here’s the little butt in all his 20 month glory! As cute as ever and growing so fast!

I was inspired to write this post because lately he has FINALLY decided he wants to say more than Mommy, Dada, doooogggg (yes, with that many O’s) and nana (as in banana but also works for his Nana). It’s like all of a sudden, his brain has CLICKED, and he says a new word every couple of days! It just amazes me everyday to see him learn and grow and so quickly!

We try to talk to him often and use as many words as we can. We talk him through steps as we do them and try and give specific instructions inundated with adjectives and adverbs. We ask him to repeat after us quite often but normally he just says, “dis” if it’s a new word for him.

But then… one day he repeated after me and straight up said, “ba’ pack!” Ummm excuse me, cutie pants??? When did you learn to say backpack?? Then the next day he said “diaper” and “bath” the following! All in a matter of a couple of days, he added 3 words to his spoken vocabulary!

I feel like we’re about to have a talker on our hands, ladies and gentlemen! And I know some of you are going to say I shouldn’t encourage it because one day I’ll want him to stop talking, but until that point I’ll continue to think it’s pretty darn cute!

I’d love to hear the first words of your little ones or the cute words that you were like, “How did you even learn that??” Leave some comments 🙂

Hope to be writing more often! Love you all!

A RAGBRAI Review!

Wow, I cannot believe that RAGBRAI 2014 is OVER. It seems like the anticipation for the event just kept building for months. I was so nervous that I wouldn’t be able to walk after the first 78 mile day. I was worried I wouldn’t want to ride past day 3. Did I do enough training? Did I get enough calluses? Am I going to have saddle sores??? Yes, yes, and sorta.

Sky and I drove to Omaha to meet my parents where we navigated the Offutt AFB air show to meet at the commissary and to drop my car off at lodging.  We then drove the rest of the way to Rock Valley, IA on Saturday, 19 July. We set-up our first camp site and prep’d for the first ride on Sunday.

Here’s a summary of the week:

Day 1 – 78 miles – Rock Valley to Okoboji – Seriously, I was thinking, “Am I going to make it? I don’t think I’ll ever ride my bike again.” But by the time it was done, I thought, “That wasn’t too bad…let’s do it for 6 more days in a row!” haha. In Okoboji we got to stay by a lake. This was awesome because after our long ride we just jumped right-in to cool off! Then a few of us went for a ride on the owner’s boat to the town for the nightly concert.

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IMG_0703Day 2 – 31 miles – Okoboji to Emmetsburg – Pulled Sky 15 miles and my dad pulled him the rest of the way. I only rode to the midpoint town this day so that my mom could ride the last 15 or so miles. Not to mention it’s tiring pulling a Burley when it’s windy out!IMG_0689

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Day 3 – 76 miles – Emmetsburg to Forest City – This was the long day that some people decided to ride a full century on. I am still new to biking so I just stuck withthe 76 miles 🙂 Oh, and we had time for pie. Really good homemade pie.

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IMG_0728Day 4 – 36 miles – Forest City to Mason City – Short day to recover from the long day. My dad and I stopped for breakfast at Guys and Gals with a view of the lake! Sky rode the second half of this day, although it was only 15 miles or so! My dad pulled him again. He’s pretty much a beast.

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Day 5 – SAG – Mason City to Waverly – I drove the team’s SAG vehicle this day and my mom rode with my dad! Go Aggies!

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Day 6 – Rain – Waverly to Independence – It rained like crazy on Friday. I decided I didn’t want to be blown around by the wind and rain just to get more saddle sores and blisters. I helped my mom tear down camp and then rode with her and Sky to the next host family. My dad was awesome though and braved the wind and rain for a full 70 mile day!

Day 7 – 72 miles – Independence to Guttenberg – The last day! My dad and I got up early and took off at 645 so we could be in Guttenberg by 1230 for a Team Navy picture. We made the best time this day even with the most elevation change – 3,000ft! And of course, we had to stop for Beekman’s ice cream on the last day. I had to show a little Air Force pride even though I was wearing a Navy jersey 🙂 At the end of the ride, you get to dip your tire in the Mississippi river…so fun!

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Overall, I would definitely do RAGBRAI again. It was a bummer we had to set-up and tear-down camp everyday (maybe next time we can get a trailer lol) but it made for cheaper living, that’s for sure! The Iowans were all super nice and very welcoming to their towns. And all of our host families were AWESOME. Especially the one that let us sleep inside so Sky could sleep in a crib in the last town! The Navy team welcomed me even though I am a “Zommie.” And I had so much fun making memories with my parents. Sky did great camping every night and had great fun hanging out with Nana and Papa. Looking forward to future RAGBRAIs to come!

We Finally Decorated Sky’s Bedroom!

We’ve been in the house since the end of April, and yes, we are finally getting around to putting up some decorations in Sky’s bedroom.  He is full boy that loves cars, throwing balls, and hitting things with his golf clubs.  But we decided to keep his room with an animal/jungle theme while he is still in the crib and his room is still a nursery.  This means we hung an old laundry bag as a net for the stuffed animals and kept his jungle themed sheets.Sky's Room   We still use the rocker but not to nurse anymore. Mostly to read a book before bed and sing “Hush Little Baby,” one of Sky’s favorite bed time songs.  I should post about that song another time because it’s not the traditional song.  It has verses like “mama’s going to find you a hummingbird… or mama’s going to play on her old banjo.” But again, I’ll save that for another post 🙂 The crib has a few more stuffed animals in it, but otherwise is the same. We decided to hang his Daniel verse painting that Sky’s daddy made above the crib this time around. If you can’t read it the verse is from Daniel 12:3 and says, “Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever.” We thought it was a beautiful verse to be displayed in his room. Sky's Room 2 Sky has a few more books on the shelves now, but otherwise the bookshelf is the same.  the biggest addition to the walls are his birth announcement that his Aunt Stephanie made (who by the way has a blog also…and the link is in the blog roll) and his height chart that his great Aunt Susie sent him. We are still deciding on what color we want to commit to this room, but I am being indecisive. At least now he has some things to look at on the walls, and as soon as we hung the balls from the ceiling he started pointing at them. Hopefully they will be a nice distraction while we are changing his diaper on the changer we got for free from the neighbors! Also, the bag hanging on the side of the changer is one of the ones his Aunt Shawna made for his dirty cloth diapers.  If you are interested in one, let me know and I’ll get you her info 🙂 They are super cute and help keep the diapers until you wash them. Well, that’s all for now. Hope you enjoyed Sky’s safari/jungle/animal room 🙂

Intentionality

It’s been a while. I haven’t been positing as often as I thought I would when I set my goals at the beginning of the year (here were my goals for the year).  Truthfully, I have quite a few posts started and a couple others I’ve been thinking about but I haven’t wanted to put “pen to paper” so to speak.

My reason? Intentionality.

As many of you know we recently moved into a new house across town. The house is a brand new build in a brand new neighborhood.  We are in LOVE with this new house that we are slowly making a home, but as I’ve said, it is a rather slow process.

During this time I was working on some classes for my MBA. I started a new job across base. I applied for a new job in Fort Collins. I was accepted at the new job as a ROTC instructor at Colorado State University.  I finished my job in Cheyenne, took a 4-week online class for my MBA, and I’ve been training for RAGBRAI (which I talked about here, here, and here).

Overall, as usual, life is just a wee bit “full” right now.. to say the least. It has been crazy filled with new experiences and growth and change, but also filled with great family time and time with friends. Because of how full it’s been…I’ve focused on INTENTIONAL actions with the purpose of truly living life and appreciating God’s blessings.

Webster defined intentional as “made, given, or done with full awareness of what one is doing.” To extend that, the definition of intend is to “have in mind a purpose or goal.” In other words, to be intentional is to do something with full awareness of your goal.  Of course, in order to be intentional you must know your goals, so that is the first step.

If I didn’t make time to play blocks with Sky, go on walks with the hubby, watch White Collar and Downton Abby with my sister, or go sit and talk at the dinner table, I wouldn’t have nearly the relationships that I do. But, I have to be INTENTIONAL about my time. And part of that has been taking a break from this blog.

All that being said, I am feeling the call to write once again. To share. To put my thoughts on paper, so here I am. Being intentional about my writing and sharing and thinking.

Looking forward to more time together with you all! Here’s to intentionality.

RAGBRAI Training Update

As many of you know I am training for the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. At the time of this post there are 45 days, 9 hours, and 19 minutes until the start of the race… yikes! I will be riding 418 miles in 7 days.

I am starting to get super excited about it even though I am still a little nervous! It helps that I did 20 miles on Saturday with Sky and 35 miles on Sunday.  But I still have a longgggg way to go. It is finally summer out here in Colorado, so we enjoyed beautiful weather this past weekend. The sun was shining, the breeze was blowing, and tons of people were out on the trails. The picture below is from one of the trails that goes towards Horsetooth called Spring Creek trail.  It basically connects from my house and goes west about 15 miles to the foothills!

The bike trails and how active the Fort Collins people are, are two of my favorite things about Fort Collins and Colorado. I love seeing other people out on the trails and running into people I know. It often times make you forget the “working out” part and just lets me enjoy the beautiful world around me that God created!

Yesterday I rode about 10 miles, and tonight, my hubby rode about 10 miles with me as well.  With my sister in town we have many more opportunities to get out together even for a little while! We are so grateful to have her here!

This weekend I am hoping to knock out 50 miles or so on Saturday, and we’ll see how I’m feeling on Sunday. lol. Too bad my classes start up again next week, life is about to get busy again!

One of these days I will actually post pictures of the house but I have been slacking on that too. Hope everyone is doing great!

Love you, all! Jess10354833_10201948231138691_7340539537945401905_n