Saturday, September 1, 2012

Just journaling....

It's been an interesting month. August was harder on me this time. It could be the new position at school, in addition to teaching. It could be because I was really struggling with lil man going to preschool and getting bigger. Maybe it had something to do with feeling unprepared for the school year or the fact that I hadn't gotten anything on my list of things to do this summer done. Don't get me wrong, I did some things, but the majority of it was chilling with my boy and enjoying life with him.... til July 31 when things got really hectic.

I was doing well and holding it together and then things started to fall apart in more ways than I anticipated. Maybe some of it was my fault. Maybe some of it was I just took on too much and attempted to do too much. Maybe it's just how things are supposed to be. Only God knows really.

When school started, I spent 4 days crying from stress and anxiety. Yep, I got that bad. I ate crappy foods, didn't make the farmers' market as I usually did, didn't clip coupons or even really shop for food. Meal planning? I couldn't even think about it. I think it was mild momentary depression. It seemed like everything, and I mean everything (relationships of all kinds, work, home) was falling apart.

Then a magical thing happened.... I laughed... for the first time in over a week and a half. It felt great. I felt light. What was the change? I gave up thinking I could do everything and relied on God to just take it away and help me to do what I could in that moment. It felt great.

Then I woke up the next morning. The toilet had overflowed all night. We had water all over the bathroom, through the kitchen ceiling, the kitchen cabinets, on the counter and the kitchen floor, down into the basement. I didn't think anything of it. Cleaned everything up with towels and whatever, told the hubs what happened. He said he would take a half day off work later in the day to help with cleaning up. He came home to a hot, smelly house. He called a company to come out and the insurance company. He handled it all while I worked away. I was stressed, yes, but not crying stressed. Just overwhelmed and defeated stressed. That stressed that makes you feel worn out. Sometimes that feeling is almost as comfy as a pair of old jeans. It just is. It makes you realize that you can't do it all. That you need help. That sometimes it's just time to stop and slow down. You're tired from it all. The good thing about that stress, you have to rely on something bigger than you to make it through. For me, that is Jesus Christ, my Savior. He actually gave me a genius idea (well, maybe it wasn't from him, I don't know). Maybe this is God's way of reminding me that I'm not in control and to rely on Him more. Letting me know that I can't control it all and nor should I attempt to. Do you know what a weight it was that came off my shoulders?   It was/is amazing.

I am lighter now. I may have lost a few friends. I may mess up in my new leadership role. I may even mess up in parenting and marriage. I can't control it all and am just grateful that I don't have to. That really the only relationship that matters is the one I have with God and when that is in perspective, so will be the others. Growing that relationship will help the marriage, parenting and others. So for now, I'm focusing on that and my family. Yes, I'll still have to work, but the those relationships are the ones I am choosing to focus on for now. It is needed and it took the stressors of the month to get me to this point. I must say, I'm kind of glad for them..... Now, bring on the chaos of home repairs.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Something to come....

I had a garage sale. So did my neighbor. I found this at their garage sale for $0.75.

More to come... hopefully soon...

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Making the menu pretty!

I love my command center. The white board with the pen holder and notecard holder for jotting down messages when the menu was on the white board etc. I just didn't really care for the white board as the menu spot. Why, I couldn't tell you.

One day, hubby and I were cleaning out a room and I came across an old mirror that was kind of stained and had a fog on it in spots and some yellow dots on it. I didn't want to let it go as I liked the styling of it. It's quaint and could easily have a new purpose. So, I figured I would turn it into a menu board in the kitchen.

Yep, them are my legs and the crocs flip flops I've had for over 5 years. Love those things!

With a little primer, left over white paint from the trim in the dining room and chalkboard paint from E's playroom, I took to turning the mirror into a menu board. I chose to use the white paint because it goes with everything (we plan on repainting the kitchen in the next year or two so I can update it then) and because I had a lot of it available!

In a matter of 2 days, I had a new menu board. Next it was where to hang it. I decided I would put it right by the back kitchen door above our current ginormous trash can (one day we'll hide it away and use a small one that fits into a pantry or something). Confession, the trash can is not ginormous, it's 13 gallon capacity just sits on the wall by itself beside (and behind when open) the kitchen door.

No, I didn't take a pic of that corner as it needs cleaning and I didn't feel like doing it before snapping the picture.

I love where I hung it as I can see exactly what I need to do and if I forget on the way out in the morning, there's a quick reminder for me to do a 5 second turn and get whatever from the freezer for dinner that night or the next night. So nice!

Best thing, this cost us nothing as we already had everything from previous projects! :) Yippee Skippy!!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

MAPS Museum visit- on the fly...

Hubby told me he decided to take an impromptu long weekend this weekend. He asked me what I wanted to do. In my head I said, "You to take care of cleaning the house, making dinner (not take out), take lil man out and just let me have a day to myself- after you've cleaned the house." What I really said was "I don't know."

I decided to take lil man to the library for storytime in the morning and let the hubby sleep in as he was out fishing really late the night before. It helped that lil man woke up extremely cranky and not wanting to listen to a thing I said. I was exhausted an hour into the day. But, let's make the most of it.
We had fun at the library and picked up books on the theme of the week- spiders.

When we came home, hubs was up. He said he wanted to go to Chuck E. Cheese. I said he could go without me so I could have time. He didn't really like that idea as he wanted us all to do something. I wanted my time but can appreciate the need and desire for good quality family time. He mentioned going to Cleveland to a museum. My wheels started spinning. It was noon. Museums close at 5. It's a 45 minute drive and someone gets cranky between 2 and 4. Hmm... not a great idea. I started looking at museums near us in the Akron/Canton area.

Google never fails. It gave me a list and I started to go through thinking what would be good. The Fossil museum would be cool, but we have a play date there with friends next week. Something else... Then I stumbled upon the MAPS Museum near the Akron Canton Airport. I was leary at first. Not sure what it held. The pictures shows planes but also displays. Lil man, at 3, would certainly not be into displays. I talked it over with hubs and we headed out to check out the museum with the idea that if the museum is not the best for lil man, we would head to Chuck E Cheese.

This museum, while small, is FANTASTIC! I cannot express enough how much I absolutely loved this place. I think I was more in love with it than either of my boys. It was the coolest thing ever. There were planes all over in the gift shop area hanging from the ceiling (what I want to do in lil man's room). There were all kinds of planes everywhere in the museum... hanging from the ceiling, on the ground, outside (thankfully the weather cleared a little). There were descriptions of everything military plane. It was so cool.

Sitting at the first exhibit- a military gun.... E is rotating the chair, daddy is moving the gun up and down.

Switched spots and focused...

So glad to see the planes.

Super cool glider from the 1920's.

The greatest surprise came to us while at the museum. We saw in the corner the gondola of the Goodyear Blimp. This is a huge thing in our house. Hubby used to work for the blimp (landing crew) and in our dating years, I would visit him at the hanger and sit in the blimp gondola. What was great about it was it was the exact same gondola he worked with- the GZ22. It had crashed a few years after he left (to settle down and be married to moi. Too much travel for him to be newly married and such) and apparently MAPS got the gondola of the blimp that crashed. The very one I sat in and explored (not that there's much to explore, but I looked into the balloon part of the blimp in that gondola and sat in the pilot's chair. Good times. Hubby said many memories came flooding back and he reminisced with one of the gentlemen working/volunteering with MAPS. Needless to say, this was lil man's favorite part of the museum and he had a ton of fun in the blimp. We sat in there for about 20 minutes just letting him play on one of the two trips to this exhibit.

Our blimp... see story below.

Inside our blimp.

The flag hanging from above the cockpit in the blimp.

Thought this sign was interesting. The how to make your own radio handouts were gone though.

Fox radios you can make using the missing handouts.

On the rotor of the blimp

You could climb up the ladder and look inside this fighter jet...

Not a big space... at all....especially when you consider the gear they have to wear.

umm... okay. Didn't think I'd fit anyway... or be able to climb over the gate....

Another favorite for lil man... helicopters.

The fastest plane here.

Yes, that speed says 1,372 MPH. Yowza!

I was in love with this B-25 Bomber It was my favorite.

Love this plane. Love love...
After looking at the planes in the hanger and outside, we headed inside to use the restroom (which was the nicest and cleanest I had ever seen in a museum. I almost took a pic but decided better not) and tour the Heroes Hall.

The Heroes Hall was filled with all kinds of really neat things. There were uniforms of all eras displayed, planes and helicopters, various stories of the heroes from the Akron Canton area who served (which was so cool to read). What I loved best about the Heroes Hall was the handwritten pieces they had. There was a handwritten flight log listing the date, time and mission they were on. There were lots of handwritten notes (my favorite things in the world to pour over) to family and friends from these heroes. It was wonderful and beautiful and reminded me of the book I just finished and can't stop thinking about, The Bungalow. 

Various helmets and piloting/air traffiking equipment.

various military uniforms for women.

Handwritten flight mission log. So cool!

He tried to open every display and play with the planes... There were many.

Interesting note....

Another handwritten note home from a local hero

Hobby to pass time- art- by another local hero.

Rosie the Riveter display.

Cool missles.

I loved this museum and will be back. I think it may become a semi-annual event. It's fantastic. If that's not enough to convince you to visit, the guest book I signed had people who visited from Oklahoma, Florida and other places who said it was a great museum as well. It really is. We saw kids of all ages who enjoyed it and some on guided tours (not something we can do with our lil man yet).

As always, I was in no way, shape or form compensated for this post. I simply loved this museum and can't wait to go back. It really is a gem.

Tomorrow, we hit our next annual event... The hotair balloon festival for the Football Hall of Fame Inauguration. It's our 3rd year attending. It's something we wouldn't pass up.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Stealing from Hamlet...

"To be or not to be: that is the question"

There are many things going on in our house. Trying to find a new sitter or a part-time sitter, possible new job for the hubs at his current employer (not getting our hopes up, but it would be cool for him- granted we couldn't ask for a better company for him to work at regardless- thank you, cousin). I hope to return to school in the fall to do an endorsement or master's. Lots of things to think about and move forward with.

I, of course, like to add more to the plate. For a while (say a year or so), have been debating whether or not we should move. Since more homes seem to be selling in our neighborhood, I'm getting that inclination more. It's not that I don't love my home or where I live, I just want more land. Shoot, if I could have a triple lot where I am, I would take it in a minute and not move at all. I brought this idea up to the hubs who was taken back by my repeat presentation of said idea. We decided we are going to do our research and see what we can find in a price range we thing feasible.

Now, we have not started really looking or doing anything major. It's just something I'm kicking around in my head. Let me share with you my thoughts....

1. I love my house. Yes, I would like more room and a more open feel to the place, but it's a home that was built in 1918. It has weathered many families and probably at one point had 10 or more people living in it (let's face it, back in the day, families were large). I would also like a new kitchen- like tomorrow... actually a year ago, but that's okay. I'm being patient.

2. I love the town I live in. Where else can you go that there are 5-6 parks with FREE wading pools. yes, Free pools that are 1-2 feet deep for little ones- big playgrounds and lots of sand.  The parks and recreation department is unmatchable, offering classes for adults, children, seniors, and anything from baseball to pottery to knitting and photography- as well as growing your own garden or chickens. I would love chickens, but where I am, I can't. :(  We have free movies down on the river for kids in the summer. Free music concerts in the summer.

3. I love the proximity to everything. It doesn't matter where I need to go, essentially everything is within 20-25 minutes (talking bigger cities- well, aside from Cleveland). I bike alot of places, pulling little man behind me in his trailer to any place that allows us to avoid busier roads). I have a local expressway half a mile from my house- both entrances to the expressway (north and south). I am also not far from national parks or county parks and great museums and such.

4. I love, I mean LOVE, my neighbors. They are like extended family. If we were to move, I'd have to take them with me or constantly visit. Not only that, I think they love us and I know they love the lil man. They are truly great people and we are blessed to be their neighbors.

5. I'm close to family. Doesn't matter who it is, I'm pretty doggone close to all of them. Hubs' family doesn't count. Some of them are in other states and further south of us, but on my side, we're within a few minutes of them (10-15 depending on traffic).

What I don't love:
1. my kitchen.
2. my small yard.
3. the houses so close together.
4. lack of storage space/closet space (in our "master" bedroom, there is one very small closet that houses my hubby's clothes. I have mine tucked into a closet that will be for our next baby. At that point, I guess I'm living out of.... I don't know yet.... :)
5. 1 bathroom (not that that's unmanagable). Great for bathroom cleaning day as there is only 1 to do!

I don't even mind that we share a driveway. That doesn't bother me a bit- probably because I have the coolest neighbors anyone could ask for.

So really, I don't know that I need to move. I would if I could find something I love for a great price, but for the time being, I think I'm set. Whew, one thing to cross off the list.... maybe....

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Button Love...

I've had a great few weeks. Some of my projects that were on my list of things to do are getting done. Not many, but a few. Really, truth be told, I'm just enjoying my time with lil man. He's so fun- sometimes out of control, but you'll have that with 3 year old little boys. I wouldn't have it any other way.

One of the projects on my list was the button bracelet I started at the May Craft Day... yes, I still hadn't finished. I can honestly say, I want to add about 4 more little buttons (when I find some I like in the huge stash of buttons lying around my home). I hadn't been feeling creative until the past 2 weeks. Now I'm in a groove and getting things done. One day when I had finished an amazing book (I'll blog about it soon), I needed to just process things in it and get myself back to reality. In order to do so, Hubs and I turned on Season 1 of Game of Thrones (which I actually liked and now want to read the books- I never want to do that after watching something in a movie/tv). I grabbed my needle, thread, band, and buttons and began working away. In 2 episodes, I had completed my bracelet (save the 4 small buttons that I need to find.

I totally love it! I put a Mickey Mouse button on there for my son who loves Mickey. Other than that, the buttons are just ones that I liked and in a variety of colors. I can wear this with almost everything! Love those types of pieces.

Next up, maybe a necklace, some canvas work with initials and symbols relevant to us to be used as artwork. I love it!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Teaching 'im young...

Remember the cool scarf I made at the Parks and Recreation department? Well, I saw they offered classes for little ones too. One of them was called Mudpies. It's a clay class for kids 3-5. For $15, you could enroll your child in the class 1 day a week for 3 weeks and 45 minutes each day to teach them how to work with clay. Well, I was all over that! How cool would it be to get some gifts for father's day made and possibly for other holidays as well?

I wasn't sure what to expect, but I must admit, this was so much fun and lil man looked forward to it every Thursday. Miss Amy, our instructor, taught us how to use the pottery wheel, join clay together, make finger pots, leaf rubbings and other fun things. It was so much fun. There were 4 other kids in the class who seemed to love it as well.

My son most enjoyed getting to roll the clay with what we called the "steamroller". I don't know the real name for it. It was a table with wires and a roller and handle. By rotating the handle, the roller moved over the clay to smash it down flat. So fun for little boys and girls who love steamrollers... or smashing things.
Playing the role of the steam roller

First time using a pottery wheel.

soaking up the extra water in the bowl with a sponge... he didn't like doing that.

Where to place the paint.... hmm...

Right there....

The first week, we made pinch pots, handprint plaques, leaf imprints and whatever else "came into our head". The second week, we made frogs and more of whatever else while making bowls on the pottery wheel. The third week we spent painting and glazing. In all, we ended up with 7 items my some made. It was so much fun for both him and me. We will definitely do it again!

Gifts: one for Daddy and one for Grandma

First bowl - week 1

second bowl... week 2

handprint and frog...

An owl for mommy.

adding texture to the handprint.