Monday, September 16, 2013

Labor of Love - Grace's Nursery

Grace's nursery is finished!  

It all started with this tapestry I bought on sale from Urban Outfitters before our middle child was born.  It's a navy, orange, pink, and light blue illustrated forest scene with a whimsical folk-ish vibe, and I knew it would be perfection in a girl's room. Of course, we had a boy, so the tapestry went into a drawer, and clearly I never got around to getting rid of it. Score one for being a procrastinating pack-rat! As soon as we found out we'd be welcoming a baby girl into this room, I dug it out, put a black out liner on the back and turned it into 3 roman shades. It became a jumping-off point for the rest of the space, and looks like this fantastic fairy tale world is outside her window when the shades are down.

The crib, book shelves, drapes, chair, side table, dresser, mirror and wall color (Behr Urban mist) were all left overs from the room's previous design, and were all either too costly or too time consuming (i.e. I was too lazy) to change.  Still, I wanted to make the room girly, fun, and a smile-worthy space that our daughter would love and could grow into. I'm so happy with how it turned out - I feel like I found a good balance between form and function. And since this is my third and final nursery to decorate, I don't feel bad at all for saying it's my favorite of the three by far! :)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

School Daze

As a stay-at-home-mom, the end of summer meant zilch for a while, but this year was different.  All three kiddos started some form of school this year and all three had a big 'first'.

Miss Grace started MDO on Wednesdays this year. I've only had the tiniest bit of regret/remorse/emotion about handing over my 6 month old.  It helps that her teachers are absolutely amazing, but it also helps that I'm so desperate to get stuff done without kids, I pretty much kiss her goodbye and sprint out the door. There's always so much to tackle in those brief 5.5 hours, I barely have time to pee, let alone get emotional.

Jack started his first year of preschool.  It's really a tiny distinction...same building, same hours, but 'preschool' didn't technically start until this year. Biggest changes are they don't take naps and they must be fully potty trained. The no-naps thing was a breeze...unlike Carter, Jack hasn't napped on a regular basis for over a year. In fact, the very first thing he said when I picked him up was, "Mommy, they didn't make us take a nap, so I got to go outside TWO times!!!'  The potty training on the other hand we squeezed in juuuust under the wire. And if he comes out of the bathroom without his pants half as often as he does at home, I'm dreading the first parent-teacher conference.

We also added a kindergartener to the ranks this year - yay Carter!! Leading up to the big day, I felt what any other normal parent of a public school aged child would...relief and excitement that I would have a child in school 5 days a week for FREE.  Surprisingly, though, I found myself getting really nostalgic towards the end of summer.  We even took a last minute family vacation to soak up those last few days with him.  By the time meet-the-teacher rolled around, though, I was so caught up in the logistics of it all, I didn't really stop moving long enough to get emotional.  The school relaxed its visitor policy to allow the parents to walk kids to class, so on the first day, and the second, drop off was a breeze.  Then on day 3 when I had to drop Carter off, and all I saw was that big backpack headed through those big double doors, I officially lost it.  I had to pull over I was crying so hard.  He just looked too little to be going to such a big school.  It was more than that too, from now on, there won't be a school year that goes by that he is home with me during the week...he's at an age I remember so clearly...he's beginning a journey that's going to be filled with ups and downs and things I can't protect him from.  I know my job is far from over, but it was the end of a chapter and the realization hit me hard.  Anyway, it was another reminder that even though the first five years are some of the hardest and most challenging, they are over in the blink of an eye.    

Thursday, September 5, 2013

You are beautiful

There is beauty everywhere in every place. There is beauty in our differences.  There is beauty in your smile, there is beauty in your laugh, there is beauty in your crazy hair, and your chunky thighs and tiny nose.  Self acceptance...that's what I pray for you.  I want you to love yourself my sweet Gracie girl.  I want you to  have confidence in yourself and make yourself laugh. And despite my prayers, I know deep down, you're still going to be plagued by self doubt.  I know this because every female I've ever met suffers from this, even the most beautiful ones.  And believe me sweet girl, I am surrounded by some truly beautiful women.  I hope you surround yourself with beautiful women too.  Take them in and love them and tell them how beautiful they are, on the inside and out.  Women need each other...we gain something from these friendships that is hard to put into words.  And when you are surrounded by these beautiful women, full of flaws they struggle to see past, remind yourself that they don't see your flaws...they see how smart and strong and amazing you are, and cherish your friendship. You may have a few catty women in the bunch, but know they need your love more than the others...they are struggling with self doubt more than the them, but don't listen to them.  Call me instead.  I'll tell you how beautiful you are, and I'll be so frustrated when you don't believe me, or roll your eyes and tell me I have to think that because I'm your mom.  And while it's true, I'm going to always think you are the most beautiful girl in the world, and that no other girl can hold a candle to you, it's not because you are undeserving of's because you. are. beautiful.