Monday, April 30, 2012

The Capabilities of Love

This weekend, someone VERY close to me had a very rough weekend (and things will continue to be rough for a while).  I won't name names and I won't go in to detail about it on this blog because it is not my place to do so and it's none of my business to talk about it.  But it made me think about love ... that love is capable of SO much good and sometimes, very bad.

The fact of the matter is that although love is a GLORIOUS thing sometimes, sometimes it HURTS. When things in love are going well, you're on cloud nine.  Isn't it the most amazing feeling to be wrapped up in the arms of someone you adore?  You feel so safe, so secure, and so overwhelmingly fortunate.  I love feeling this.  And I love that the VAST majority of the time, when Evan is home, this is EXACTLY how I feel.  I do feel that I am the luckiest girl in the planet to have the husband I have.  He worked his ASS OFF this weekend, barely slept, had to go to the hospital multiple times for hours in the middle of the night, and somehow still came home wanting to hug me, kiss me, and tell me I was beautiful.  He took a much needed nap yesterday for an hour in the afternoon, and I just sat there looking at him.  Ten years later, I still love doing that.  Admiring him for the Doctor he is, for the husband he is, and for the Daddy he is.  A strong, wonderful individual.

While that part of love is so amazing, there is another part of love that can hurt.  It can sting, can make you cry harder than you've ever imagined, and feel emotions just as strong as the happy ones.  Though, overall, I have been blessed with a beautiful relationship with Evan, I will be the first to admit that we have experienced good times and bad times.  While the good times are GOOD and I think the love envies that of Romeo and Juliet, the bad times SUCK.  In comparison to what other couples go through, the bad times are SO very minimal and we usually are over it within a couple days. We rarely argue, and when we do, we usually come to a resolution quickly.  It actually involves the two of us compromising 99% of the time admitting: "I need to give you a break" while the other says "I could have been trying a little harder."  I think the other secret is ADMITTING your wrong doing.  Though I am a very stubborn person and it usually takes me a couple days to get there, I have told Evan on NUMEROUS occasions "I overreacted, I'm sorry."  But those couple days where I'm angry at him (I would say or vice versa but the guy never gets angry with me ... patient human being ... I am VERY irritating, I promise), I'm not myself.  I feel like a miserable, unlike myself, human being. 

And then there is this other part of love: the love for your children (or children close to you).  And when I'm having a bad day at work, or just being stressed with life, Liliana has consistently put SO many smiles on my face.   And this person very close to me must feel the same because while I was on the phone with her this Friday evening, through her muffled tears she told me "send me pictures of Liliana.  Send me lots of pictures and make me smile because seeing her ALWAYS makes me smile and I need to laugh and smile."  This morning, we were already running a little late to work but then I realized she looked too darn cute in her dress to not take advantage of the outfit. 

Yeah, I get it: THIS kind of picture can make me smile just about any time I need a smile. 

Though I may not see him as often as I'd like, I am so lucky and blessed to love my husband and daughter as much as I do.  I feel surrounded by love when we're at home together and it is a beautiful beautiful thing.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Failure

I'm not going to lie ... this week has been really tough.  When Evan left the house this morning he told me "this has been my worst week of residency, ever."  And he just might be right.

He has worked SUCH long hours this week and what makes it even harder is there is no end in sight.  I do the best I can, but I am just TIRED.  Not necessarily sleepy (though I am that too) but just TIRED. 

Tired of doing EVERYTHING.  Tired of being a stay at home Mom, and a full time working Mom, and having NO help. 

I'm admittedly getting irritable around others because of it.  When I hear others saying "it's just so hard" I admittedly think in my head "please!  You don't have to work!"  or "Please!  You take your kid to Grandma's three times a week!"  And I HATE thinking like that.  It's a seed of jealousy and that's the truth.  And really and truly, my life is brilliant.  And sometimes that's why it's best to write things out, just like this post, because I haven't been honest enough with myself to think that this entire week.

Instead I've just stewed inside.  This is something I have REALLY tried to rid myself of the last few years.  Like I've posted about many times, I was, deep down an unhappy person in my third year of law school.  This is another post for another day (and one that I just haven't been GUTSY enough to write before), but I went through some depression during my pregnancy with Liliana.  Ironically enough, didn't have one shred of it after delivering (which is much more common than during pregnancy).  Regardless, the day that I cried myself a lake about hating what I was doing with my life, I really tried to become a new person.

A fresher person.  A happier person.  A person more true and honest to herself.  I learned to be happy for others instead of constantly jealous.  I learned to relish the good in life and to not let things get to me as much.

Have I done this perfectly the last 2 years?  OF COURSE NOT.  NOBODY and I repeat NOBODY is free from these types of feelings.

But this past week, I've felt like it's resurfacing.  Not the depression during pregnancy.  I can HAPPILY say I haven't had any this pregnancy and that is something Evan and I discussed MULTIPLE times before getting pregnant this go around.  It's a big part of why I exercise throughout pregnancy.  They say exercise greatly helps with depression and I am LIVING proof of it helping TREMENDOUSLY with it.

When I say resurfacing, I mean just the constant thoughts of "WHEN is this going to end?" "WHEN will Evan actually leave at a decent hour?  WHEN will he get to see his daughter for more than 20 minutes a day (or at all for that matter)?  WHEN will we catch a stinking break?  WHEN will we get to watch a movie together without one of us falling asleep because we have so much on our plates?"

And what makes it really difficult is nobody really understands.  My Aunt does, but she's a counselor for petes sake, so this is her thing.  Every week or so, she sends me a text simply saying "I love you and miss you."  OR she'll at least ACKNOWLEDGE it and say "you both are SO strong!  I can't believe you keep going."  Just having somebody say that ... GOODNESS that goes a long way.  It's her way of saying "hang in there.  This is rough.  You're doing well."  It's not that I need credit.  It's hard to explain.  I don't want somebody playing violins in the background for me.  I just want the simple "we notice" every now and then instead of the "well this is how it goes!"  OR "I had it worse!" OR "does he really work THAT hard?" (all things we've heard btw)

But when people get on Evan about not calling them?  NOT the way to go.  And when you put pressure on us about tiny little details?  NOT the way to go. 

I guess I'm saying, a break would be nice...and not from others really.  The ONLY culprit is residency. 

And the break?  It's not coming.  Evan's on call ALL stinking weekend and he won't see Liliana today (for the third night out of four this week). (caveat: I always mention in these kinds of posts that I know being a surgery residents wife doesn't even compare to what others go through.  I'm sorry.  I just need a space to write out my frustrations too. Please understand).

I feel like a big complainer.  I truly do.  I am so frustrated with my mind and brain for thinking like this.  I LOVE having Liliana.  It's funny because back when she was 13 or 14 months old, I would look at that clock praying for the time to fly by so I could get a break and put her down for sleep. 

Now?  I HATE 8:00.  I hate putting my toddler who love life to the fullest down for night night.  I LOVE spending time with her. She makes me laugh.  She makes the time fly.  She is the light in my life through this and I am so grateful that Liliana has been around this year.  She has been Mommy's rock and she doesn't know it, but she has helped this year become much more tolerable.

I'm not going to lie ... this isn't easy on a marriage.  It's not to say that we've been fighting more than usual.  It's not to say anything.  It's hard to maintain a feeling of closeness when, at best, your only communication is a couple text messages throughout the day.  We text as often as possible, and usually my job is the more flexible in terms of being able to answer texts, but we're still both very busy and it's difficult to find time during the day.  We NEVER get phone calls in during the day, and if we do, it's usually because there is some kind of emergency and we HAVE to communicate.  I think this frustrates Evan because he comes home and I'm tired and moody.  I'm not in the mood to be chipper anymore.  And in turn, that just makes him feel even worse for being gone so much.  There isn't any perfect solution to this.  Our answer?  We stay up entirely too late talking, kissing, and being together and trying to lump 3 hours of quality time in to 30 minutes. 

We try to make the most of the time we have together (for the most part) but when he's working 15/ 16 hour days and when I'm in my third trimester and have worked a full time job, worked out, cooked dinner, folded laundry, made doctor's appointments, decorated a nursery, etc., saying "HI SWEETY!  Look at this 5 course meal that I made for you!" isn't going to happen either.

Our marriage is by NO MEANS in trouble.  It's not that.  It's just that this does suck.  And, this is just the way it is.

Yesterday, Evan got home around 8:00 and like I said, that's Liliana's bed time.  At least he got to see her.  It was a hell of a lot better than arriving a little before 11 pm like the evening before. 

When he got home, she was sitting on her dresser as we were picking out her pajamas.  She EXCLAIMED "DADDY!!!" since she hasn't seen him all week.  She gave us the sincerest look on her face and EMBRACED the two of us, together as a family.  After a few seconds, she pulled away, looked at us IN THE EYES, and went in for another family embrace (four in total).  She initiated it all.  I KNOW in my heart, she was telling us she was glad to have her family together.  And it BROKE MY HEART.  I nearly broke down and cried, though I didn't.

Because I can't.

Because though we keep telling ourselves "this will get better" that's what we said when his new rotation started, and that was 8 weeks ago.  So when I get a text saying "I think today will be a decent day" I don't even get my hopes up anymore.  I still know it won't be. 

And I know the truth of the matter is this is what happens when your husband is a surgeon in his residency.  And YES, before you say I need to be proud of him and be supportive ... I AM!  I find it BEYOND sexy that my husband is a brilliant man that helps people all day.  And I know that this will only be 4 years longer (can I say ONLY for another FOUR FREAKIN years?).  And I am doing MY BEST.

But I'm human.

And I'm working on these feelings right now.  I'm TRYING to work through them.

This week, I'm failing at it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

"Do What You Love" Free Print!

As I mentioned last month, I plan on doing a free print every month just so people can have cute prints all over their house (or cycle them every few weeks like I do).  I have kept up with my etsy shop and have had a GREAT time with it for the last couple months.  I have quite a few prints in there now and keep putting some new ones up every week!  It's a BLAST!

This month's print has special meaning to me because it's a phrase just like this that really made ME reevaluate my life.  As a lawyer who works in a school, I would say that I'm pretty keen on the phrase "do what you love."  I do think that is SO important!  There are some lawyers out there that work in the firm setting and LOVE what they do and I think that's fabulous.  It wasn't MY perfect calling, but I knew that I could put this degree to some good use and I do nearly every single day.  Doing what you love, even if it means some might think you're crazy, or if you take a pay cut, is SO important!

To grab the free print, just click on it at the bottom of the post and save to your computer.  Then, just send the print off to Sams, Walmart, or wherever and it should look great!  It should work for an 8 by 10 print.  Here is what it would look like in a pretty frame at home, or better yet, in your office!

The ONLY thing I ask before you grab the free print is:

(1) that you go to my etsy shop and leave a comment telling me what your favorite print is (it really helps me to see what's popular and what isn't) AND

(2) that you start following the blog if you don't already!

Other than that, print away and remember to "do what you love!" : )

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Closet Makeover (or two, or three)

Not even joking, the nesting got INSANE this weekend.  I was like a mad woman wanting to clear anything and everything of clutter.  I used to think that woman claiming "nesting" was a pregnancy symptom were crazy.  I now join that group of crazies.

On Friday I ran across some blog that mentioned cleaning out your closets.  It looked so pretty.  So fresh.  SO unlike our closets.  And I knew something had to be done.


Since Evan was off this weekend, I was the kind wife I am and immediately told him "we're redoing closets this weekend."  You know, since he has SO much relax time otherwise (worst wife of the year award was already priority delivered to me, don't worry).

Off to Target we went.  We bought baskets and shoe dividers and spent you know, the typical Target amount (= entirely too much). 

And on Saturday while baby girl was napping, we started.  This is what my closet looked like to begin with.  Shield your eyes.

YOWZA.  It was a mess.  A mess of summer transitioning back in to the wardrobe, winter still rendering it's big coats face, and maternity clothes interspersed throughout.   So here was the plan of attack:

(1) DECLUTTER: take EVERYTHING (and I  mean EVERYTHING) out of your dresser and closet.  Start transitioning what you need, what you don't need, what you wear, what you don't wear, etc. 

(2) COME UP WITH A PLAN: once it was empty, I could finally see what I was working with.  Aside from a horrible paint job by the previous owners, the hubby in his brilliant ways realized that the closet wasn't working the way it was because I didn't have enough space to hang my dresses (what can I say, I apparently really like dresses).  So off he was to cut the bottom pole and shelf in half.  He was thrilled to have his picture taken and to be doing this with me until midnight on a Friday night (CRAZY life right?)

(2) MAKE THREE PILES: have one pile for "to keep in closet," one "to keep somewhere else since it's out of season" and "goodwill donation pile."  Be prepared for your room to look worse than ever for the next few hours.  It will get daunting.  Have Pandora on in the background.

(3) START REORGANIZING AND REEVALUATE:  I started putting up what I had envisioned just to make sure my plan was working well.  Turns out, we realized we could take a book shelf that was sitting in our garage and it would fit perfectly in the closet!  This just added a TON of space for me to put more clothes.  SCORE.

 Yes I need to paint that bookshelf and the entire closet for that matter.  But that wasn't a project I was willing to tackle this weeked.  I still had more closets to go and hours to go on mine!  Now, it was all up to putting things away in an organized, functional manner. 

And let me tell you, I saw RESULTS!

(4) ORGANIZE: pants, particularly jeans, go brilliantly folded (unless you're one of those that iron their jeans, ya weirdo).  Purses go wonderfully in baskets, and the shoes you wear most often can go right in front of your face.  Organize dresses by fancy (to the left) and summer (right next to shoes).  Color coordinate.  It makes the OCD indiviudal happy.  As for the bookcase?  It has my workout clothes, my seasonal clothes (scarves, swimsuits), and some more shoes. 

Here's my new closet! 

Five hours later, I was a VERY happy lady.  VERY VERY happy.  I even joked about falling asleep with the closet door open so that I could look at it all night long.  Here's a comparison shot for you:

This inspired me to keep going ... so on Sunday, Evan did his closet while I redid Liliana's! 

For kiddos, my biggest suggestion is having a "too small" and "too big" drawer.  It's impossible to keep up with their growing bodies so this is a good way to contain it all before collecting everything in to boxes.  Liliana has a HUGE amount of built-ins in her bedroom so her closet isn't packed and only took about 2 hours to handle it all.  It was still an embarassing mess beforehand though.

Before for Liliana:

After for Liliana:

We were stupid enough not to take a "before" picture for Evan, but you're just going to have to take my word for it when I saw this is a HUGE improvement.

Needless to say, I am closeted out!  Well, until I handle Gloria's, the guest room, and the hallway closet.  But that's for another weekend!  : )

Linking to Serenity Now. 

Linking to Tatertots and Jello.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

How To: Gloria's Embroidery Hoop Wall!

As you recall, last Thursday was/ is always my least favorite day of the year.  Fortunately, Evan got off at a really decent hour and in order to try and keep my mind off things (even though it is impossible on a day like that), we decided to 'FINALLY tackle a BIG project in Gloria's room!  The hoop wall! I had stalked pictures on pinterest about hoop walls and loved how they looked. 

While there are tons of pictures everywhere of this look, I didn't find many detailing HOW they went about doing the process.  For those that are creatively challenged (like me!) I thought it would be helpful to see it in a step by step format:

(1) In order to accomplish the look, I had to do some prep work.  First, I had swatches of quite a few different fabrics.  Etsy, Hobby Lobby, or Hancock fabrics are a good place to achieve this.  I went ahead and got all the fabrics from the Kumari Garden Fabric Collection since Gloria's bedding is made with this as well.

Hobby Lobby and Hancock Fabrics have "swatch" bundles where they do the work for you of getting ones that go well together.  I got REALLY lucky with my fabrics because the lady that's making Gloria's bumper was running a couple weeks behind and offered to send these fabrics at no cost to me to make up that tiny dilemma.  I ended up saving quite a bit of money by doing this and she kept a customer happy! ; )

(2) After getting the fabrics, then buy the hoops.  I've read that you can find them at Goodwill and truth be told, I'm rarely available during their business hours so got them at Hobby Lobby.  Either way, they're CHEAP.  I bought 11 hoops for $10.  I got a mixture of sizes, 10 inches around being the largest and 4 inches around being the smallest.

(3) Once you have the hoops, start deciding what fabrics you want in them, and where.  It's a good idea to prepare this in the room where you'll be hanging the wall art to get an idea as to how each fabric looks on your paint color.

(4) Once you've figured it out, place the fabric inside the hoop and cut around it, leaving about an inch of fabric.

(5) Then, apply good 'ol Elmers glue to the inside piece of wood and lay the fabric down to create a seal.  I put a book over them to ensure it would glue down tightly and left that for a while.

(6) next, arrange!  Take your time to figure out how you want it to look on the floor and take a picture to remind yourself where they fall.

(7) Give your hubby kisses as he patiently hangs all of it (with a tiny nail for each hoop).  Be picky about the positioning and bat your eyelashes more.

(8) Marvel at your results!

As you can see, this nursery is REALLY coming together!  The rug, some decor, and the bumpers should all  be arriving within the next couple of days.  Can't wait!

Linking to Serenity now.

Linking to Tatertots and Jello.

Linking to DIY Show Off. 

Linking to  Just us Four.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

We've Come a LONG Way

The other day I was feeling pretty down in the dumps in terms of progress we've made on redecorating the house lately.  We have a GREAT time doing it, and it has kind of become our new weekend hobby when Evan is off of work, but I feel like our transformations are underwhelming (is that even a word?) and barely noticeable.

We still have SO many things we'd like to do to the house, but I was feeling a little unispired.  Then I looked back at the before pictures ...

And the inspiration is back!  In 3 short months, we have accomplished quite a lot in our living room, the pantry, the nursery, and the playroom (as evidenced below).  Although not one of those projects is 100% done, is a project EVER completely done?

So before we went any further, I decided to give our realtor a call.  I wanted to know if some of our possible future projects were even worth it!  I thought she would tell me I'm a crazy woman, but she told me she SO wished clients would call before doing renovations. 

She's coming over this evening and I hav esome BIG dream projects i'd like to ask her about.  It would all be DIY, of course, and I'm aware we have little time, but a girl can dream right?  And when you do it on a budget, it makes it all the more fun.  In particular, I'm going to ask her about:

(1) painting the kitchen cabinets white like this photo below (this isn't our kitchen obviously.  It's just inspiration)

(2) redoing the master bathroom (I can't even put an inspiration photo here ... because this one would be a HUGE overhaul)

and ...

(3) changing up the master bedroom (i ordered a very similar pillow off of etsy and this will be the color inspiration for the master.  We're hoping to get some work started on the master before Gloria comes along)

It's exhausting, yet exhilaring, how these projects are never ending!  I have thoughts in just about every square inch of the house.  But don't worry, I still took the time to sit down and be sorely disappointed in last nights Glee instead of worrying over this.  Some of it will get done and some of it won't.  It just depends when inspiration strikes!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

DIY Step by Step No Sew $8 15 minute Valance!

The last couple of days, Evan and I have become quite the connoisseurs when it comes to making valances. The only problem, originally, is that we had no idea how to make them.  But with a little bit of brain power, patience, and some adhesive tape, we now have two gorgeous valances hanging in Gloria's room!

Each valance ended up costing only $8!  I saw some on etsy that I really liked, but they were $35 each and I thought "I can make that!"

Well, here's the ONE tricky part: I don't own a sewing machine.  Sure, I could buy one, but the cheap in me started getting creative.

So if you have 15 minutes, $8, don't want to sew, but need a cute window treatment?  This DIY project is for you!

Here is a step by step run down of how to make it happen.

DIY No Sew Valance

(1) First, go to the fabric store and get one yard of fabric.  If you can, get them to cut it for you (might as well right?) to the dimensions you need.  Our windows were about 35 inches wide so we had them cut the fabric 32 by 40 to make the valances approximately 15 inches long.

(2) Lay the fabric out, apply adhesive tape on two ends (where it measures 40 inches), and press down just to secure it.

(3) Next, apply adhesive to the bottom end.  Remove the adhesive sticker (like you did above), but do not apply fabric to it just yet.

(4)  Next, fold the other side over and you are essentially going to make the fabric stick so that you could stick your hands completely through it.

(5) Keep toddler as entertained as possible while trying to explain to her that this project is not for her to play with (aka "Liliana, stay off the fabric!!!")

(6) Fold the fabric over to your desired length (ours was 15 inches) and have adhesive to the rest.

(7) Iron it all to make the adhesive permanently stick.  This takes no time at all.  HINT: if you are doing two curtains, it is a good idea to make sure they match and are the same size BEFORE ironing (learned that one the hard way).

(Big pregnancy belly pic!)

(8) Place your new curtains on the rod and marvel at the finished, fast, cheap product!!

What a difference these valances make!  For only $16 dollars, the room went from THIS

 to ... this!

PS You might notice a couple fabric swatches in hoops on the left wall ... that's another project that I plan on posting about!  Gloria's nursery is really coming together!

Linking to Serenity now.

Linking to Tatertots and Jello

Linking to DIY Show Off.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Snip Snip!

We've been wanting to cut Liliana's hair for a LONG time now.  She doesn't have much hair, at all, and it's very slow growing, but in the back and around the ears it is INSANE.  With not much up top, and a ton in the back, the poor girl was channeling the 1980s and had a mullet.

We have trimmed her hair ourselves a few times but this time it needed some professional intervention.  There is a cute little kiddo salon less than 5 minutes from our home but it closes at 5:30 on Saturday and Evan's always working (he wanted to be there for the first real haircut).  This time, we had a slight break in his getting paged and flew to the salon when we had the opporutnity.

I was so excited to get the FREAK out pictures ... like this:

But, alas, Liliana was her typical happy go lucky kid and just LOVED getting the attention of being in the fun chair.   And, they gave her a lollipop.  That makes my kiddo VERY happy.

While we waited to get her hair cut, she made a creepy/ freaked out/ excited face.  As you can see, that hair in the back was kinda nasty.

When they offered her the lollipop though?  She was in heaven!

And the entire time they cut her hair, she just sat there with her sucker, looking cute as can be.

She got so excited every time we told her how pretty her new haircut looked!

Mommy had to get a good look to make sure she approved (which she did by the way).

And in the back?  Pure ADORABLE bob!

Liliana's pretty happy with the result.  Especially when she has pasta sauce all over her face:

It even looks cute when we're writing our 2 year old thesis:

But honestly, this girl is a complete BEAUTY, so when does she not look stunning?

LOVE her.