Saturday, February 25, 2017

Our mudroom RENOvation.

I had been looking for lockers for years.

Let me clarify.
I had seen plenty of lockers for sale over the years, but MY lockers:
a) had to be in pretty good condition, and had to:
b) be cheap. ;)

FINALLY...i got some lockers.
Thanks to some cousin chatter. (Thanks Chelsea ;))

I did "clear" the decision with Matt.
I even measured on my own.
Impressive people. :))

I painted them. Lots and lots of spray paint.
And then...

then...they sat. They sat in the driveway. They sat in the garage. and they sat some more.
You get the picture.

We finally had the discussion.
Matt had voted the basement, and I had voted the mudroom.

For anyone who has been in our mudroom...you realize, for them to go in there, we had to tear out a closet. No big deal, right?

Until your hubs does NOT want to touch the closet. Or the mudroom at all.
Insert panic. A bit of panic and regret.

I am kind of a middle child. I am a people pleaser. Probably one of the top reasons my husband picked me. ;) I am not aggressive. I am not usually confrontational. I can be quiet. I am an introvert...the last 2 could be debatable...but that is only because I married my husband, and have changed to be more like him. :)

To make a long story short...I didn't give up this time.
I did not take no for an answer.

And the demo started. Kaden, his friend, Kyle and Matt started tearing apart one afternoon, when I had NO IDEA it was going to happen THAT day. Talk about motivation. I was hosting a holiday party at the end of the week. Yikes.

Beginning to tear out the closet...

Closet is out. Now you notice, the drop ceiling needs to come out also. :))

Ceiling is out...found a gorgeous fun blue color underneath...which I decided not to touch. Matt is now working on hiding all the wiring...

The project turned into a MUCH bigger project than I anticipated. This room was mostly made up of paneling. It was at one time a porch, and then enclosed. (If only I could have a porch). ;))  So...the paneling was in awful shape anyway, so it started to get torn down, which revealed the original siding of the house...which i decided i LOVED. This picture shows some of the wiring getting hidden...

The flooring also had to be ripped out...I had gotton this light at a consignment shop a few months earlier, and could not WAIT to hang it. I asked an electrician friend to come over and wire it for me...DELIGHTED with how it looks.
And THANKS Brandon. You can also see I started painting awhile. The goal is a bright WHITE room.
I am not sure why I liked dark red so much, almost 10 years ago, when we moved here??


And THIS lovee's is the finished project.
i absolutely LOVE it!!
Sooooo glad i was persistent, and did not take no for an answer. :))

The chalkboard is actually covering a framed out window that had been there.
Needed to come up with something cute up there to cover that akward space.
What better then a chalkboard? :))

Friday, February 24, 2017

I am BACK. and Kaycee turned 12.

Can't actually believe anyone would still be checking in here, but just in case.

My apologies.
Instagram is so much quicker.
I LOVE blogging.
But who am I kidding?
Life has gotton so busy.
It was always busy, but this is a different busy, an i am not home busy.
Which makes it hard to blog. 

Blah. Blah. Blah.

I will stop making excuses. :))

Where do I even start?


Okay. Well. Then I guess we will start back on December 30, 2016 when Kaycee turned 12.
This girl. Is somethin'.
I know I do not give her enough of my time and attention, mostly because she doesn't demand it.
And well....when you are one of five kids, if you are quiet and mind your business, you get lost in the shuffle.
I try to be intentional.
But it is so super hard.



Kaycee loves art.
She loves to paint. And color. And draw. And write.
She loves playing the flute.
She doesn't appreciate sports. Like at all.
She is kind of a pack rat. Keeps a lot of everything.
She is quiet. I have to really dig to find out about her. Her day. Her life. Her feelings.
It takes so much time. It's time well spent. But a lot of time.
She loves looking at my instagram. ;)
She still loves reading. She is super good at school.


Donut cake this year.
Mostly because why  not? :)


6th grade is figuring out some of who you are.
So far Kaycee is mostly sweatshirt/jeans/sneaks kind of girl.
No make up.
Lots of emotion. At the drop of a dime.
No girly-girl anything though.
She LOVES to braid her hair, and is getting so good at it.
She also loves to knit and crochet, and makes things out of nothing.
I call that a genius.
She doesn't follow patterns, or anything...just figures it out.
LOVE.


These 2 are 17 months apart.
I was wondering how these teen years are going to go for them.
So far. So good.
It's fun to watch them interact together.
So fun.


Oh Kaycee girl.
You are a treasure.
You see black and white always.
There is never any gray for you.
What a strength.
You are loved and appreciated so much.
Your quiet, gentle spirit is a gift.
Keep working hard. And being kind. And smiling.
God loves you and has great things in store for your life.

Much love, 
Mom.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

all kinds of tears over here.

call it a midlife crisis.
or maybe just the fact that 4 of my children are in school,
and i actually have quiet to think.

i don't know?

i am 38 years old...almost 40...

and i can't shake the fact that i have 5 children.
and am little by little losing control.

maybe i never had it...but i like to think i did. ;)

some might call me a perfectionist.
[although i am pretty sure my husband would not...
he thinks i am pretty much a hot mess these days.
my floors are unswept, there is dust everywhere...it is a miracle when laundry is
     folded and put away...]

but back to my point...i might like control?

and it is dawning on me, how very little i have...
especially with this parenting thing.

and this song...
i can't stop listening to it.

[andrew peterson has been a favorite of mine...well, since i can remember...sings real life].

my feelings exactly.

Lord help me.
Amen.



Monday, July 18, 2016

baSebAll.

summer is always the highlight of my life.
really.
i love the weather.
the flowers.
the kids being off school.
no set schedule.
it being light out early.
and light out late.
the sounds.
the foods.
vacations. the beach.

and baseball.
yep.
we are still playing baseball.

by "we" i mean Kaden...
but "we" his family are in it 110% also.

family time has looked a little different the last couple months.
it is not sitting around the dinner table, like i crave.
it is certainly not ideal. in my opinion.

it feels like i toss food to Matt and Kaden as they head out the door to practice each night.
leaving the girls and i to fend for ourselves.

or there is cooler packing to keep the girls settled as we sit thru another game.
and keep our tummies happy thru the high's and the low's.

or...there is always cereal or drive-thru's or snack bar's to pull this mama thru.

and car rides.
let me tell ya.
we are mastering car rides.
which actually, is how i like it. :)

we could drive seperate, which would buy me at least another hour at home.
but...we make the sacrifice to ride together.
and that's where we talk about disappointments
high's and low's of our days...
or the game...
or me telling matt to slow down :/
that is where we HAVE to get our family time right now, 
or let me tell ya, 
it just wouldn't happen.

so mama's out there.
do not lose heart.
there is always a way to fit it in.
it's often not ideal.
or even my pick.
but, find a way.
and make it happen.


this is Kaden.
catching.
playing Buster Posey, as he chooses to be number 28 each post season. 

[during the regular season Kaden is a starter. a starter at catcher most of the time.
sometimes he pitches and sometimes he plays short stop...but most of the time he catches, 
and has the last few years].

there have been a couple year's of Kaden sitting on the bench most of the all-star post season.
and when he did get the chance to play, it was out of "his position"
that means he was playing the outfield.
those season's were hard.
hard, character building, character defining season's.
(i am choosing to believe)
but to watch Kaden this post season.
has been a beautiful, fun thing.
to look back on the boy he was. and now the man he is slowly growing into.
i am thankful.
and grateful to be his mama. 
and watch this ride.



thank you Karen and Robbie...for these pics.
It is great to have friends who have awesome camera's and take pictures
while you, one of the cheering mama's can focus on that...cheering. :)




if you follow me on instagram (melissa_erin14) 
you know that we suffered our first loss this post season, in our first sectional game.
and it was a bruiser.
we lost 11-1.

we came back yesterday afternoon, in the blazing heat, and had a 10-3 victory.
6 home runs. 
2 of those home runs hit by Kaden. :)

i have a hard time figuring out if sports are really good for kids.
the stress is monumental.
the pressure to perform.
fun is lost in the losing.
it just is.
and i remember. i was not a jock by any means...
but i played field hockey thru high school and a few years at the college level.
it's so easy for the fun to get lost, 
in a bad play
in a bad quick decision
in a loss.

And let's mention my son is not always "on point".
who is?
he made a really bad throw during the first inning of the game.
the first baseman didn't catch the ball
and the runner, Kaden was trying to pick off at first,
 made it to 3rd,
on his quick, rash, bad throw decision.

But he got over it.
Love that part.
Picked his head up. And moved on.
And he had one of his best games yet.

the above picture is Kaden rounding 3rd after his 2nd home run of the game.
that face.
mama knows that face.
(he is crying).
and it was a tear jerking moment for his mama and grandma too.

i hope everyone gets to experience their son in that moment, 
a moment just like that...and it's different moment's for each child you have...
but know, that not everyone will.
and that's tough.

hang in there mama's.
i hope your time comes.
be ready.
because when it does. there is nothing like it.
it cannot be replicated. anywhere.



and when your dad is an assistant coach
well. that makes things all the harder.
maybe?





it was a good redeeming game.
now for tonight. :)

win or lose.
no matter.
(winning is always more fun, right?) ;)

as i pray over Kaden, each game, before he gets out of the car...

I can do all things thru Christ, who stengthens me.
Philippians 4:13

and his usual response is, " I know mom. I know."

something I have started praying over my kids, and me too...

I pray their weaknesses drive them to God, 
and I pray that my children's strengths draw other's to the Lord.

Regardless...this whole game of life.
it's a battle.









to God be the glory.

Friday, July 15, 2016

a rehearsal dinner.

so one of my favorite things in life. for fun. is decorating.
and of lately. fresh flower arranging.

i suppose having 5 kids in 8 years 
[4 of those 5 kids were born in 5 1/2 years] :))
took up years of my life.
years which i LOVED, and sometimes wish i could go back too...
but alas...

now that they are growing up so quickly.
and require less "hands-on" of me...
i have more time to myself. 

or maybe i have learned that i need to make time for myself?
i am not sure?
probably a little bit of both.
i CAN say, it is much easier to make time for yourself, when the children
are old enough to watch themselves...
and do not require so much of me.

[being married to a farmer, means there is kinda no scheduling.
no predictability.
the "count on you watching the kids" never happened much
on a "scheduled" basis...when they were littles]

regardless. i am able to have more "me" time lately.
which is really. fun.

i guess i grew up watching my mom do both.
decorating and flower arranging.
and funny. now i like to do the same.

i had the fun priviledge of decorating 
The Beale Manor 
for a wedding reception a couple months ago.

basically, the mother of the groom told me i could do whatever i wanted.
that is the BEST kind of party to decorate for. :))

the bride's color's were: gray and yellow.
that's all i had. 

my lovely friend, Rhonda, stopped by to capture a few photo's.
Thanks girl.
they are perfect.






















Tuesday, July 12, 2016

It's been TWENTY years.


so a couple weeks ago
matt and i hosted a gathering of some of my high school girlfriends, 
some of whom i hadn't seen for TWENTY years
[ how is that even possible that i graduated TWENTY years ago?]
and their spouses, and children.


you always kind of wonder how things like this are going to go?
i was kinda worried about the husbands...
hoping they could kind of just go with the flow...


it turned out to be such a fun night.
so.much.food.
i really didn't feel like it was totally uncomfortable...
which was kinda awesome. :)


we ate outside, up at the house.
everyone brought along something to share.
and then we migrated to the pond.


[some farm tours may or may not have happened.]  ;)


one of my closest friends in school, was jane.
she was infact in my wedding...which was mostly family, might i add. ;)
this is jane's husband, brad, with matt, in the picture above...
we don't see them all that often...they live in maryland...so it's always fun to see them.
they always have fun farm questions. :)

jane and brad are also responsible for these totally AWESOME pictures!!
i didn't even share half of them, just a few of my faves.
thanks so much guys.
you captured our evening so perfectly!


campbell...just waiting around, i guess? 





i am not sure what we are looking at here?

kristi, is holding the phone. a fond memory i have of kristi, is that she let me borrow a dress for the
homecoming coronation, just 20 years previous.
thanks sweetie. :)



 and these are just a few of the smarties i ran around with:
pictured from left to right: (maiden names because i don't even remember all their married names? ;/)

nikki hurst, jen blain, me, sarah morrissey, jane bailey, julie lamborn, 
kristi groff, bree hermann and jessica althouse.

i recognized everyone. in an instant.
it really does not feel like 20 years has passed.
do we even look like we are almost 40 years old?

nevermind.
DON'T answer that. :))

i love that i was captured with a baby in my arms.
6 week old Josie, to be exact.
(the youngest daughter, of my friend, Julie, who is in the black...standing beside me).
i wish i knew what i was laughing about?
this is one of my best girls, jane, who i referred to earlier.
she has been a friend since we were 10-ish?
she is one of the few high school friends i keep in touch with.
and see very occassionally.





we ended the evening with sparkler fun and smores.
i had a candy scramble...and we didn't get it done before it got dark out. :/

a HUGE thanks to jessica and sarah who PLANNED the whole darn thing.
i merely hosted.
my favorite part anyway. :))