Thursday, July 31, 2008

I love stars....

Did I mention I love stars?

I don't know why I love them so much. It may be their bold design. It may be because it reminds me of a time when I used to doodle them all over my notebook pages in school. It may be because I happen to be rather patriotic. Or possibly, it is because I relate them to images I have seen in home decor magazines, where they are prominently displayed and the rest of the room looks warm and clean, and family-friendly.

Whatever the reason.....I love them. Always have, probably always will.

Today I bought three distressed wood stars from Kirkland Home Store. I didn't know where I'd put them....but I knew I'd find a place! I love the way they look together. I finally decided to place them on top of our wood built-in bookshelves in our front office. Most of our boxes on the floor are gone now, thank God, and I am hoping the stars help warm up the joint. :0) Our shelves are still rather will take some time to fill them with books and things we love. But, I feel the stars above already make me feel like it is a little more like "me" in there.

My first star I hung as a decoration was a large one I hung right above my front door in our old house. I loved it there....and I worried I wouldn't find a place for it that would be as appropriate as it was there, when we moved. I knew I wanted to see it all the time....and I knew if it weren't there, it might not feel like "home" to me. I thought it would be really spectacular right over our fireplace in our Family Room. I got really excited to put it there. Unfortunately, we soon discovered that the mirror that was "hung" above the fireplace and left there by the previous owners....was actually attached to the wall, framed in moulding! If we tried to remove it, it most likely would leave a huge mess, resulting in lots of drywall repair. UGH.
Thankfully, the last homeowner must have decided they wanted more than a mirror there, too, because they left a big giant screw right in the middle of it!
I am sure you see where I am going with this....but, it seemed logical to me for us to try and hang the star right there on top of the mirror. I wasn't sure if I'd like it.....but at least now it is the center of attention. The room just wouldn't have that family feeling I was looking for without it. Here is the result...(try to not pay attention to how little the surrounding shelves are decorated so far, or that the TV is on, or that there are wires all over the place for our electronic equipment... )

I have a feeling this is not the end of my obsession with stars. I believe that another star or two may make their appearance somehow into my decor. I am left wondering just how many stars are too many?? (Because there was this adorable star lamp I saw at Homegoods......and I just know it would look cool someplace........) :0)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

More random Colorado shots....

Just thought I'd post more pictures from my fun weekend in Colorado with my peeps....

to start--here is a picture of the three sisters on a swing....(Thanks Abby for taking this picture!)

a very skinny mom :0) go, girl!

the Wilkinson family and me....

Why is it I look so huge in that picture?

And finally (for now)--here is a very cute shot of Kerry and Caleb....

Being with family is great......wish I saw more of them. We did a lot of laughing, a little bit of crying (which of course, was laugh-induced), and generally just enjoyed each other's company. Who wants to come visit my nest in Illinois?

I am up too late....

So...I am up, and I should be sleeping.
But, while I am here, I will post a cute picture of my parents. I miss them already.

Thanks for letting me invade your house for a few days! You are the bestest mommy and daddy ever! Love you!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Cheyene Mountain Zoo...Colorado

Can I tell you how much I enjoy this zoo? I went to visit my family in Colorado for a long weekend, and this is what Mom and Dad and I did one morning...we went to the zoo! Why? Because it is cool, and unlike any other zoo I have ever been to.
For one thing, it is up in the mountains! YUP. It is. Way cool, right? For another thing, it has the BEST giraffe exhibit ever. Seriously, folks...if you love giraffes as much as I do, which is a whole lot, you NEED to visit this zoo sometime in your lifetime. Not only do they have many giraffes to look at.....which is cool enough, right? They also let you get up and personal with them. You can feed them, and stand right where you can see their faces, and actually pet their noses if you wanted to.

No, I am not kidding.

So, of course, I need to show you some of the pictures I took of my favorite attraction at this zoo. Let me tell you, I have more pictures of giraffes then what I am even going to post here. But, in interest of blog space, I will try and refrain from posting all of them. Look how cute and awesome they are, though.....

Look at this guy's face. He is being fed a cracker.....this is what I mean.....WAY cool, huh?

I know...cute, right?

These two were lovin' the whole time we were there--kissing. French kissing. They couldn't get enough, let me tell you. I almost thought I shouldn't be looking. Yes, even giraffes need some lovin'.

See how this is set up so you can get close to their faces?? It is a view, most people never get of these beautiful animals...

This is a nursing giraffe....WOW.

All these beautiful giraffes....and look at this view (!!!)....can't get much better...

Of course....I wouldn't want you to think I only came to the zoo just to see giraffes. I looked at other cool animals, too. for instance, check out this porcupine! Did you know they climb trees?? I didn't! Check out his feet just hangin' there...totally cracked me up.

And here is a silly orangatan in a bucket. Funny....

We also saw a sleeping Mountain Lion. So harmless looking when sleeping, don't you agree??

And Hippos....

I like to think that God will allow all of these wonderful creatures to live in heaven with us---and they will be walking among us, and even the fierce animals on earth will be gentle there with Him. Wouldn't it be cool to be walking down those streets of gold alongside a lion, or bear, and know you can pet them, or give them a hug--like you would your pet dog? And the giraffes! They'd be there, too! Maybe they would lower their necks and let us hold on while they swung us onto their backs for a ride. Hmmmmm......

Okay--just one more picture of the giraffes......

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

off to Colorado and tadpole surprise...

I may not be blogging until Tuesday. I will be flying to colorado to see my mom and two sisters tomorrow. I am very excited for our "girl's weekend". I will fill you in about that next week.

Also-tadpole update. If you have been following the tadpole drama.....
We had two in a tank--Nathan found them in June at one of the last soccer games. One has already died. :0( We didn't expect the other to last much longer than that. Tonight, Nathan came into my room very upset because he couldn't find his tadpole. I immediately asked him if he left the tank where Emmy (our dog) could reach it. She has been fairly curious about the little guy and the occasional splish splashy sounds coming from the tank. She jumps up to see into the tank, and we have already had to take away the jar of tadpole food from her mouth on three different occasions. Nathan said the tank had been up high on his shelf. When we looked in the tank--the tadpole was not swimming around as usual. We couldn't find him. I was thinking he met a bad end, until we saw a lumpy looking thing seemingly squeezed between the tank wall and fake rock. It wasn't moving, and we thought maybe the tadpole got stuck there while swimming by. Upon further closer inspection with a flashlight, we discovered a tiny frog sitting there! We got pretty excited. It's tail is completely gone, and it was balanced on his own small legs. It was tiny and froggy! I actually felt a little bit of wonderment....and pride....we didn't kill it by accident!

It will be fun to see that TINY frog grow. Nathan was so happy about it, it almost makes keeping the thing worth it.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Projects- big and small

I have been thinking about doing a lot of projects.
Some are quite small, and can be done easily. These usually refer to the "crafty" kind. A few days ago, I sat down and created a few cards, which I hadn't done in a while. I "doodled" some, made a couple of bookmarks for Nathan and Jacob, who specifically asked for them, wrote other ideas in a notebook for another time, and fiddled around in my craft room a while. Here are some samples of things I did:

and this is the mess it left behind.....

I have a few LARGER projects to tackle, too (which are really more important, but not as easy):

the outdoor patio furniture needs to be repainted

here is an ugly light fixture to be spray painted black, and rehung into the dining room (only if it looks fabulous, of course, after its makeover)

then there is the whole dining room and living room to decorate and furnish.....(although we got started in the DR by buying a new table and chairs). We still need to take the dated wallpaper down, paint the walls in the DR (see the paint chips?) and hang new window treatments....see these ghastly ones? They dress the LR and DR windows. :0( I don't even have a plan yet for the LR, except to decorate and buy new furniture.....

And, all I keep thinking is, if those little projects at the top can cause a mess I have avoided cleaning up.....what kind of messes will be left behind when I finally get around to tackling the BIG ones??? Of course, the big projects make the biggest changes and impact.....right?

Maybe I should start by finally getting these boxes in the front office unpacked. UGH.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Doggie Duo

So...we have been watching our friends' dog for them these last few days while they were on vacation, and we are bringing her back tonight, so I figured I'd post some pictures of their dog and our dog together. They get along quite well....and follow each other everywhere. Usually, it is hard to see one and not the other directly behind. Of course, while I was trying to get just one decent picture of the two together......they seemed to make a pact to separate!

First, let me introduce them individually.....
this black lab is ours....her name is Emmy. She is a GREAT dog. Very obedient, loving, but a bit fat. :0(

This adorable pup is Shiloh. She is a Burnese Mountain dog. Isn't she pretty? This is our friends' dog, and we like her. :0) She is sweet, goofy, and aims to please.

They weren't cooperating when I tried to get a picture of the two together..... so I gave them each a small bone to eat, because the last time I did that, they laid down right next to each other and chewed away. This time though, they left quite a bit of space. I almost didn't get them in the same shot.

Do you see Shiloh way back in the dining room? She is next to the light fixture that is on the floor. Why do we have a light fixture on the floor?? It is down there because my hubby removed it so I could spray paint it black (a bit of an experiment), like a few other bloggers have done, and I decided if they could do it, so can I! (I just haven't done it yet...but I will.) Anyway-Shiloh is back there. The other black dog NOT chewing a bone is Nathan's stuffed doggie. Obviously, there weren't enough big dogs to step over in this house already, so this one made it down to the LR, too.

Next, I took this shot.....where you get to see our unfinished embarrassing mismatched LR. We just moved in.....we need more time! (How long am I allowed to use that excuse??) I would also like to point out, that that cream colored couch was on our curb on closing day. We pushed it into our garage, (through a layer of snow!) and it is serving the purpose of "place holder" for the new couch we hope to get someday. I am not a fan of this couch. I think it is ugly. The more I look at it, the more I just want it gone. Notice that the same stuffed dog made this picture, too.

Finally, I got the help of Nathan, who made the two dogs sit next to each other. It took a lot of effort, and coaxing, and us saying "stay" over and over....but I got a picture. Unfortunately, it is not a very good one. Both dogs look a little uncomfortable. Emmy looks especially hunched over. She also left as soon as the picture was taken.

So....there you have it. Aren't you glad I learned how to post photos? Now you won't be able to stop me!

Wow! Look at me go!

I am learning how to post photos...because otherwise I am too boring, and you won't read any of these blog posts. We are a visual people, no? experiment with my new amazing computer skills (how sad am i, that I still didn't know how to do this?), I will post pictures I just took of Matt and Jacob.

First, we have a picture of my hubby sitting in his office, looking rather posed-

then we have a much more normal shot-- :0)

and finally, an odd picture of Jacob doing something on his phone, then looking up, just to please his mom....

So....not very exciting shots to begin with, but I am proud of myself for learning none the less. Now I can post and show pics of what I am talking about, and while I still might be least I will have visuals! :0)

Friday, July 18, 2008

New Cut- Check

Well, the deed was done....on Wednesday, actually. (Yesterday was just to busy to sit and write about it!)

My hair is cut, and I don't regret it. Isn't it funny how getting a new style can be such a pick me up? Especially when you go from long heavy-ish hair, to having a shorter, lighter "do". It feels great to have all that weight lifted.

I am now sporting a chin-length cut. The front strands are a bit longer, so it doesn't look blunt. I have some piecy layers cut into it all around, and my curls are more bouncy. Overall, a good change.

I trust my stylist, so I told her generally what I was hoping for, and we talked a bit about the length, and she went for it.

I am glad there are no regrets. :0) I do still get surprised every time I get a glimpse of myself in a mirror or see myself in a window reflection. Is that me?? I almost don't recognize myself. Funny.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hair Talk

I need a haircut, I have decided. I have been growing it out for who knows how long, and it is the longest it has been in a VERY long time. When standing, my hair reaches to the top of my bra strap in back. I feel fairly proud of that. Don't know why. I have been considering a haircut for some time, but felt that maybe I'd regret it after I got it done.

I think it must be time though....since I have been complaining about it nonstop since the end of May. Matt insisted I not cut it while I was teaching and taking classes. Wise thoughts, me thinks. I have a tendency to make crazy rash decisions on a whim when I am stressed. Thankfully he knows me well. I am fairly relaxed and unstressed right now, and still thinking about cutting it, so maybe it is time.

The problem?? I always fear bad hair. What if it all goes horribly wrong?? (And I look older and more dumpy than I actually am??) I don't have a plan. Not having a plan when entering a hair salon could be dangerous. Of course, maybe it is good. No preconceived notions, right?

I am thinking I am just going to take my chances and make an appointment. Whatever the cut has got to be better than this mop I am carrying around right now!

Monday, July 14, 2008


Hi, my name is Kim, and I am a blog-oholic.

It is true. I have a problem. I. CAN. NOT. STOP. MYSELF.

Seriously, I have spent way too much time reading blogs, and then running into my craft room (also guest room, BTW), and trying out things I feel I just HAVE to do, right that second!

I promise i will learn how to post pics of things. I will. This is my new goal for this summer. Learn to post photos on my own darn blog. I could show you the cute little doodle projects I pumped out. I could post pics of my darling children shaking their heads at me in disbelief as i get excited over a cute "must-do" project.

You just will be great. :0)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Blog Happy

I have been going a little blog happy over here. What does that mean? I can't control myself from checking out a bunch of blogs that are written by people I don't even know. My two favorites currently are:

The Pioneer Woman


The Nesting Place

My mom pointed me to "The Nesting Place" blog 2 days ago, and told me to look at the "window mistreatment" links there. I need to come up with some sort of new window treatments for my LR and DR, because the ones that are there now, while custom made for the windows....are just plain....well.....dreadful. (Again, my thoughts go to the fact that right about now, a picture showing you my current treatments would be helpful. I NEED to learn how to post photos on this thing! Arrrgh!) Anyway, "The Nesting Place" is chock full of budget friendly decorating ideas. The woman who writes the blog, "the Nester" is a funny and joyful Christian woman, who just moved to a smaller "nest" with her family (husband and 3 boys), to cut back on monthly payments they were making, to help get them out of debt. Good for them! I always admire people who can make hard decisions and act on them. She is a creative person with wonderful taste, and I am drawn to her style of decorating--I am just filled with inspiration!

The Nester actually reminds me a little of my long ago friend, Shelley. Shelley also had a zest for life, and decor. She was an art major, who had no fear in trying something new in her house, no matter how unusual her ideas seemed to others. Somehow, she always made things work. She also had a very little budget to work with, and either made her home decorations, or bought them at discount stores, yard sales, or at TJMaxx type places. She once gave me a funny casserole dish for my birthday. It was the first domestic-type gift I had ever received from someone other than my mom, or wasn't given to me at my bridal shower. I admit, when I first opened it, I thought it a bit odd....I was 23, and still hadn't embraced fully my role as a domestic chicky. But, I loved it too. I felt sad as I noticed it didn't survive our move in January. Not because the casserole was something I used often.....truthfully, it was a little ugly. It was a large rectangle shaped ashtray, with fruit painted on the bottom. BUT- it was sad just the same. It symbolized my early years as a wife and a mom. And, it also made me remember my friend. I loved her.....but she moved away, and over a series of many different events in her life, she became a different person, and cut ties with all her friends and her faith. But, I digress.

While visiting the two blogs I sited above.....I have also clicked on blogsites that they highlight. What fun this has been! I have also found I secretly wish I lived closer to The Nester, I'd want to be her friend. :0) Does that make me sad or creepy?? I hope not.

As a side note--I am suddenly filled with domestic urges. I feel like putting more effort into my home, my meals, my cleaning. I feel like shopping for fabric, and paint, and bargains. I feel like stretching myself creatively....thinking outside the box a little, etc. It feels good. :0)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

hot, muggy night

My mom and dad were just visiting from Colorado. It was fun having them. We gave them the tour of our new house, spent the 4th of July together BBQ-ing and going to see fireworks, did some shopping, Matt and Dad went golfing, we went to see Wall-E, played a couple of rounds of Apples to Apples, went out to eat, hung out, and generally enjoyed each other's company. They left today. For the whole time they were here, the weather was beautiful (with the exception of a short storm here and there). The temperature was warm but a cool breeze was always blowing. We had little to no humidity. The nights were cool and pleasant....

Gone went my parents, and gone went the weather. It started changing sometime yesterday, as it started to feel like the humidity was creeping back in. Today it was hot (87*), muggy, and the breeze was warm. Tonight, after a yummy dinner of salad, cold steak, and baked potatoes (we wanted to eat our leftovers!), Matt and I decided it would be a nice idea to take Emmy for a walk around the neighborhood. We walked Emmy for about a half hour, and returned her to the was just so sticky and warm, and she needed a drink! Then we left her to cool off, and we went back out for another half hour or so. It was nice, and I felt I must have burned some calories, (probally about 23), but it was just way too muggy! Can we talk about bad humidity-induced frizzy hair?

Then, if I wasn't sticky enough, I went back outside when we got home to do a little pruning of some of my plants. They needed it. I got about a quarter of the way through before I had to give up. I was dripping wet from sweat, little buggies like gnats and lightning bugs were swarming my head and arms, and it was generally very icky out there. So I came in.

Now I sit on my bed, under the air conditioning vent, with a fan blowing on me, wishing for that cool, non-sticky, breezy weather we had for all about a week here in the suburbs of Chicago. Mom and Dad, did you pack it up with the rest of your stuff? If so, PLEASE bring it back!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

tadpole update

Well, folks....

We killed a tadpole. One down. How is it, that when we forgot about the tadpoles out on the deck, in a yucky bucket with no food, and living in tap water, that the internet said we shouldn't do.....they live. As soon as we pay attention to them, give them fresh water that we read was "needed" for tadpole survival, gave them proper "tadpole food", one dies in a day's time. At least Nathan isn't too distraught about it. He has been distracted by friends being over. Nate will probably want to think deeply about it at bedtime. He won't be able to sleep due to the sad, sad circumstance of a tadpole's death. This is how things work.

I am soooo tired!

So, I am completely tired. Last night I didn't fall asleep until about 2:30am. Not a big deal....that has happened before. But, unfortunately, for some reason, I found myself awake again at about 4am. Eyes opened, looking around, wondering why in the world am I alert. (???) I spent the next hour and a half tossing and turning, trying to force sleep. I was tired, I knew I was.....but my body just wasn't cooperating. Finally, I fell back to sleep at about 6am. Whew!

At 7am my alarm went off. Yup. We bought one of those water cooler things for our kitchen. It is supposed to make us want to drink more water. ( We'll see.) It was being delivered today sometime between 7am-12pm. (Why do they do that to us? Do they really have to be that vague?) I got out of bed, groggily, and threw the nearest T-shirt and shorts on. I then laid back down on the bed. Within minutes I had fallen back to sleep.

At 8am the doorbell rang. Shoot. I was still sleeping. I flew out of bed, and down the stairs without even looking in the mirror. My face felt puffy, and like it was drooping downward. I couldn't believe the water delivery guy was here. Why couldn't he come at 10 or 11?? I opened the door and said something to him. Not sure what.....I may have been still sleeping. I remember apologizing and telling him I fell back to sleep. Then I thought of my hair. OH my gosh!! If you have curly hair that frizzes with just the least amount of movement, like mine know what my hair looked like after a night of tossing and turning. I was not a pretty sight. I started feeling bad for the delivery guy. Plus, my breath must have been killer. UGH. The guy placed three 5 gallon jugs into my garage, and brought a fourth into my house. He placed a stainless steel water cooler base next to my sliding glass door, and explained to me how the unit worked. (I think.....honestly I don't remember what he said exactly, I just remember him saying something about leaky bottles, letting the hot water heater heat the water for about a half hour after a new jug is placed on top, he asked about my kids ages......mentioned something about jotting a note to the delivery guy if we want changes in any part of the delivery.....and a few other things.) Then I thanked him and he left.

Finally, I went into the bathroom (I hadn't even had my morning pee yet). That is when I saw myself for the first time. Oh dear. I had wildly big hair, a puffy face with pillowcase wrinkles in it, sleepies in my eyes, and leftover mascara rubbed onto my eyelids and underneath. I was a beauty for sure. Good thing I already have a husband and I don't have to impress anybody!

The rest of this day (so far) all I can think about is when I can get back to sleep. Both Jake and Nate have friends no chance for a nap. Would 7pm be too early to get under my covers?

I am supposed to be cleaning for my mom and dad's visit coming up....hopefully, Thursday. (Mom is sick we have to see.) I am not making much progress though. I vacuumed the FR carpet. I filled the dishwasher and rested my head on the counter. I drove my oldest son to his friend's house across town, and picked up McDonald's for the other boys. I brushed the dog and tried to remove the large amounts of shedding hair. The cleaning is not going well, I tell ya.

So now, I am drinking a giant Diet Coke, hoping the caffeine will take hold of me...and give me a fighting chance to complete my day. I am also sitting on my bed while I type this. Not a good idea, folks. My pillow is looking very soft and inviting. How nice a little rest sounds right now. Just a few minutes, I promise.......

I better get off this bed.

Oh wait- no worries about me falling asleep----I now have 8 boys (count 'em...8!) running around my house hanging out in various rooms. Yes, the cleaning will have to wait.