Conrad and I got to babysit our friend’s new baby and it was fun….and a great reminder of how far we’ve come! Conrad was very sweet to her – he grabbed a bunch of stuffed animals to show her, spoke to her softly and I have a really cute video where he’s asking her (in a total motherese voice) if she can open her hands while he demonstrates and she just laughs and coos at him and it’s the best. She is just over 7 weeks old and while I am exceptionally relieved we do not have any more babies, I can still do it!

The dogs were also so sweet, though I SWEAR Chester gave me a lot of, ‘what the hell?!?!’ looks. Humphrey was great too! He wasn’t quite sure what to make of this tiny thing that wriggled and cried and cooed, but he was very gentle and I worked with him to make sure everyone was ok. I think Humph just needed to know he’s still my baby…..and Chester and Iz…..

Conrad told my friend later that she has the cutest baby and that she makes really good faces…haha! Nat got to see her too before school and thought she was the sweetest little thing. She rocked the baby and made lots of ‘aww’s’ at her. I’m really proud to know that my kids are so sweet to babies. It makes me feel like I’ve done something right with this parenting gig! Happy weekend!



We went to the thrift store recently (a shocker, I know) and while the kids found some accessories they were happy to own, I found a side table and a dresser. We picked up the side table immediately as I had a place in my mind for that to go – plus the table is solid maple, in decent shape, sturdy, etc.  Oh yeah, and the price was right at $30! We left and I found that I couldn’t stop thinking about that dresser though… was in decent enough shape, had interesting hardware and a stone top (though it does have a crack).

A few hours later, I gasped as I realized where that dresser could go and at $35, I didn’t want to pass it up! I used one of my 25% frequent shopper cards and picked it up for a song at $28. While I realize I could also use that discount on something more ‘big ticket’, I’d been carrying around two full discount cards for the better part of a year….so I figured I’d just use it!

My plan was to polish the hardware and just use some gel stain that we’ve had for years and years. When I removed the drawers, I saw a marking – Kent Coffey and got busy looking it up. Let’s just say it’s got some really pricey pieces listed on several antique/consigned websites and I laughed. This would never be a brand we could afford otherwise so it feels like a real score!

For a few hours of not hard work, it turned out beautifully! The stain just made the color more of a rich brown and more importantly, it hid all the dings and scuffs. The hardware polished up easy as pie and is sparkling now! The stone top had fallen out on the drive home and when I placed the pieces together and set them back, you can hardly tell where the crack is unless you are looking for it!


I can’t wait to put it in its place! The living room is really coming together!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms! Today was low key and quiet and it was lovely! I did some gardening and we ate a yummy dinner and the kids made me many cards which I love. We also decided last minute (so, while eating dinner) to get a cake to celebrate…..and James picked the best one! Congratulations to another year of surviving kids!


It’s better?

While our side lot is far from being completed and we haven’t even accomplished our list for this year yet, it does look so very different from when we first moved in! For starters, we found extra driveway and we’ve replaced all the shrubs along the side lot (which was A LOT of work last year). We have a few more trees to take out and our long term plan is to build an attached garage, but for now it looks so much better and gives us so much more usable space! Bonus: it doesn’t look like you’ll enter haunted woods anymore!

One day it will all be beautiful!


Talk around the ‘hood is how much landscaping we do…..which makes us chuckle. And while we do a lot of stuff, we still have a long ways to go! I’m not sure if was our late frost or our April snow, but we have had to replace some plants this spring. So while this corner looks loads better than it did when we first moved in, I have a few empty spots to fill in for sure! Some things are just beginning to sprout (like the lily of the valley and the ferns) and can’t really be seen yet and some things didn’t come back (like our english daisies). In a few years, when things are much more filled in, it will look amazing!


We hope to order awnings next week and then move on to picking a door for our side entry!


I really didn’t want to have to unearth my summer clothes, but here we are. I’m relocating some boxwoods and hostas before the big rain which will hopefully help set the roots! It’s coming together! Once Mother’s Day rolls around (we’re visiting a nursery center where I’ll purchase the remainder of plants for this year), I’ll take some pictures of the yard work we’ve completed.

In other news, I purchased a belt holder for Conrad to display his belts! He’s about ready to test again and move up to a green belt, so we’re all excited for him. We will get this up on his wall soon (maybe this weekend?) and when I say, ‘we’, I mean, ‘James’.

IMG_3686 2

Natalie can’t wait to be done with school for the year and I have to say that this weather isn’t helping matters. May 23rd is the end! We’re so close, Nat!!!


Conrad has croup again….so we canceled today’s plans and are just relaxing at home. In this oddly warm weather. His lungs are always clear (because croup affects your throat) so we just work on keeping calm and making sure we do frequent steams. His cases of croup are generally very mild, but still a frequent thing (this is his third bout since December) but at least we are pros at handling it now!

I’m still working on yard clean up and it’s going just fine despite what the little, critical voice in my head says. I have found a very zen way to deal with the day lilies and I couldn’t be happier to dig them up, let them dry out and shake off the dirt to toss ’em out. It’s working out perfectly! It’s slow and methodical and in bite sized pieces!

Here’s a picture for those days you hold onto something fun for when the right moment comes along:

IMG_3665 2