Thursday, December 4, 2014

Just a Peek at The Result (thus far..)

As previously stated, I am uncomfortable putting pictures of my home on the Internet... but here are just a few of my most favorite projects..
FYI- Not a decorator blogger. Not sure how they take such awesome pictures..
Our Intention was to blend both of our styles.  We also wanted to do most all of the 'decorating' work ourselves.  Which meant a LOT of sanding, painting, sanding, building, painting (my hand was a claw). We wanted to home to feel brighter, yet cozy.  Each piece needed to feel like it had a story, which weaved its way into our lives.
1. My new Metal Message Board. Created from a large piece of sheet metal and pallet wood.  I LOVE this.  It's pretty insignificant, in the grand scheme, but it makes me happy.

2. Ok.. ok... now the big stuff.
Below is our main entrance.  Otherwise known as The Red Room. (Do not ask me why... but we name the rooms in our house.  It's my fault. I'm odd-ish.)
This was the Red Room before:

And this is our main entrance, after:

3. The small TV space.  Now referred to as The Nook.
Our main goal, Cozy.  The Nook before:

 And again, The Nook Before:
(Please pay special attention to how this extends all the way back to that large window...)

And The Nook After:
You'll see that a wall has been built.  Enclosing The Nook.  That door, now leads into our 'Master' Bedroom.
 The Nook now has some of my favorite new pieces.  New comfy couches (of course) but more importantly... The old items, I have gathered at sales/shops. 
The old wooden drawers (purchased for free in Warhol's shed) were painted/aged by me and then hung on the wall to become our end tables.
The old 'ruler' was found at a sale and attached to barn wood.
MY MOST FAV!! Our entertainment stand.  Was an old work bench I found at an Estate Sale of an old family friend.  I stained, aged, sanded, sprayed the heck out of it and I LOVE IT!!

Below: was once the entrance to the furnace room.  We moved the door around to the hall and created a flat wall.  We got the old Ball/Strike/Out from the high school's old scoreboard and attached the signs to barn wood. (Coach loves this.)
(Again, thanks to Warhol for the shed shopping)
 (Ignore that the trim is not done...)

4. The 'Master' Bedroom.  I continue to put 'Master' in quotes because this space was designed with the plan to one day become a den.  When our 42 children move away, we will return to an actual bedroom.  The Kid is currently living in the old Master Bedroom and he refers to it as his dorm room.
In the Before picture below, I would have been standing on the spot which our bed now sits.  This was obviously our most ambitious project to date.  We enclosed walls, took down the bricks and created a pretty sweet little space.

When you first walk thru the door on the Nook wall, you will see our bed. (the space is much larger than it looks in the below pictures... but we gotta keep part of our bedroom for ourselves!)

Our headboard is an old wooden door I spotted lying in a burn pile.  It is covering that large picture window, I told you to notice a few pictures back.
Our sconces are actually outside lights and our nod for our love of New Orleans.
The end tables were snatched up at the local resale shop.

And there you have it.
There are SOOOOO many more little projects and changes that I didn't photograph but I hope you can at least get a sense of what we are trying to accomplish.  We have really put our heart back into our home.  I hope that our guests can feel that.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Plan.

When we decided to stay in our home, it was with the understanding that we would make the house feel like 'ours'. And not 'my grandparents home which we're living in'. I like to fancy myself a bit of an eclectic and my house did not reflect my heart, at all.  In my head, I am not a basic 1950's Brick Ranch kinda girl.  (If we're being honest, in my head, I'm not a living in dumb Midwestern USofA kinda girl either... I'm more like a funky walk-up in London, with exposed brick interior walls covered in Art pieces and framed maps of our travels...)
We made a detailed list of the changes we would like to make and created our Seven Point Plan. (Side Note: Turns out, Coach and I are complete horse sh!t at making detailed plans...FYI.)

1. The Front of the House.  I needed to round the corner and see MY house when we pulled up.  Not my grandparents.  We wanted a large porch for friends.  Window boxes.  Less clutter and way more color.

2. Building a new 'Master' Bedroom and Bath from a spot of wasted space/laundry room.  By closing off exterior doors and building walls in semi-logical locations.

3. Moving each child into their own unique bedroom, which reflected who they are.(Done-ish)

4. Moving the furnace room door and making changes to create a cozy Nook.

5. Character.  Purchasing or making art/furniture pieces which feel like 'us'.

6. Knocking thru a wall and making a new back door space from the kitchen. (NOT DONE)

7. Creating the feeling of a backyard. By cutting down a bajillion trees, making a basketball court and clever fencing. (Started but NOT DONE)

We still have MUCH work to accomplish.  I'd say... we're maybe 74% done with this list.  Unfortunately, due to weather, we are on hold.  With the exception of trim work and decorating details.. the remodel has stopped until March.
So how has it been??
Crappy.  But not terrible.  We're still married.  We still like each other.  The kids have not completely failed out of school... We definitely see the progress.  People seem to be responding to the changes.  The Kid took the stress the hardest.
I received multiple dramatic texts from him... He essentially wanted to live at school until his 'dorm room' was ready.  I replied to each text with the appropriate mom empathy "Kid, we all hate it." "Stop being a Drama Queen." "You'll survive" and maybe a few "Life isn't Fair."

As for Coach and I??
No actual arguments.... I mean, I'm still pretty confused about why we can just put a tool back into a tool box or at least a designated tool location or even maybe fill the entire length of the counter, when we have finished with it... because then when you ask me "Have you seen my drill??" or "Do you know where the measuring tape is??" for the 5 millionth time, I could simply answer "Have you checked your toolbox?" sweetly and without any sarcasm or resentment in my tone, whatsoever.  Because it is completely baffling why we own 22 different tape measures and can NEVER EVER find ONE!!

Any hoo... We're still married. We still like each other.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Exactly 3 Months of Complete Radio Silence.

No, I did not quit writing this blog.  That was not the intention.  I would like to think, if I decided to completely give up on Tru Stories, I would end the series with something a little more dramatic than a list of my ten favorite books.  It doesn't feel like I would go out like that.
As you know, we have been deep in a pretty massive remodel and for lack of a better term "Sh!t Got Real".  My brain could only handle so many details and something had to go... ie. Blogs. Reading and writing blogs. 
Also ie. Some pretty basic parenting skills were ignored.

I don't really enjoy showcasing the inside of my home on the Internet (Privacy, Fear of Judging, I hate to clean...) But to prove we really have been working, I'll post a few.

Today's Post: The Mess
Actually, these pictures are the Good Mess.  They don't even come close to showing the Bad Mess we lived in... Why?? Because when your children are living in the deep dark places of remodeling filth, you really don't wanna take a picture of that.  No one needs to see that (DCFS...) No One.

Sometimes you think you are just going to paint a wall next to a bathroom that is not currently even being worked on... and after you scrape at that wall for a bit you realize... wait a minute... we might have a problem here... and come to find out the pipes are leaking and rotting inside of the WALLS YOU WEREN'T EVEN IN THE PROCESS OF REMODELING AND THEN YOU HAVE TO CALL THE PLUMBERS OUT AGAIN TO WORK ON A TOILET THAT YOU DIDN'T EVEN THINK NEEDED TO BE WORKED ON!!!
That was a fun day...

I'm going to do my best to showcase what we have done... Maybe that will be excuse enough to forgive my absence.
And we'll see if anyone is even still checking this site...

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


I was challenged to list the 10 Most Influential Books of my Life.
Here goes...

From Childhood:
1. Socks by Beverly Cleary (The first Chapter book my mom bought me.. I still have it.)
2. Little House on the Prairie
3. Charlotte's Web

Junior High and High school:
4. It by Stephan King
5. The Color Purple

Since Becoming an Adult:
6. The Great Gatsby (my favorite book ever.)
7. Bridges of Madison County (The only book to make me sob)
8. The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron
9. Eat, Pray, Love (right place, right time.)
10. The Hunger Games (the first series of books, I read with/while The Kid was reading them.  It was fun to talk about the books together.)

In addition:
The best books I have read this year:
1. Gone Girl
2. The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

Now... please use the Comment Section to 1. Write your Top Ten and then 2. Please suggest books I should take the time to read, now that my children are in school. (PS. I do not like books that are too heavy with real life sadness, I prefer to escape into my reading.)
Have fun thinking of your Top Ten! 
This challenge inspired me to dig out a few of my old books.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

First Week of School!!

The Kid started Monday morning.  Catholic Schools don't see any point of easing into a school year with a short week... The Kid is BEYOND happy to be back in school.  He was counting down for weeks.  He LOVES his school, his teacher, his friends.  And he was Hand to God (pun intended) complaining about not learning enough.
For the start of 7th Grade, The Kid:
Is now sporting braces.
He plays on his school's baseball team at First Base or Pitcher. 
He has asked me to meet with his teacher to discuss making his classes/assignments more difficult "because he should really start learning at a higher level if he is going to get into Yale".  (Keep dreaming Kid, your parents are not exactly on a Yale kinda budget.)
Mostly, he is still sweet.  Still loves movie night with his parents.  Continues to read books on the regular, keeps his bedroom at a nearly condemned level of cleanliness and stacks water bottles on his nightstand like the little girl from Signs.

Tinkerbell is starting the 2nd Grade and has plans to make more friends.  She also has been counting down the days, until she could get back to school.  Her new teacher is adorable and sweet.
The Tink of Today:
Has firm intentions to become a Vet. But she will not care for Snakes or Tarantulas, only animals that are soft.... and turtles. 
She still loves her spot on the couch. Still loves her jammies.  Has a group of cute little girlfriends and wants her new bedroom to have a beach theme. (Kinda confusing for a girl who refuses to swim.)

Coco is officially in Kindergarten.
Suuuuuuuper excited to have a lunch box.  Very likely she will be the only little girl who took Guacamole for her lunch.  She got the teacher she 'really really really wanted'.  Coco's mother did have a short moment of tears filling the eyes (but no tears actually dropped) because my girl was SO VERY HAPPY to be at school. 
The Coco of Today:
Plans to maybe be a teacher, or work in Daddy's Barbershop or maybe just help the puppies at Tink's Vet office.  She definitely wants to get married but no way will she have kids because 'she saw a movie and she really thinks those babies come out of mommy's butts'.
Coco is full of energy.  Loves to dance.  Can not stop wearing tight pants/shorts and performing her Tights Pants On song.
She plans to make lots and lots and lots of friends, learn to read and hopefully lose a tooth.

Yes.  Sistas walking hand in hand into school is the cutest thing eva.

I'm very lucky all three of my children love school.  I hope this trend continues because it is so amazing to drop your babies off for the day, trusting they are safe and content. 

Now, I am a Stay at Home Mom, without any children to stay home with.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Last. The Baby.

Tomorrow morning, my last little baby begins Kindergarten.  If you are a long time blog follower (PS. I'm still grateful you are even still checking this site), you may remember I was an emotional wreck (understatement) when my other children began Kindergarten.  Especially, my Tink. 
Tonight, right now... I am not the least bit upset.  Which is CRAZY, right?! 

The Last Baby is when it gets really realz.  When you should be losing your mommy mind.  I should be confused, lost, sad... NOW I'm a mom, without any babies.
Instead, I am cool... calm... totally collected.
I can't promise I won't choke up a bit at drop off.  It's totally possible I may spontaneously do a quick sneak out pre-ugly public cry exit.  Maybe I'm in some sort of denial.  But I really doubt it.
You see... since the moment Coco realized she was The Baby: she has crawled, walked, ran, swam, chased, jump. spun, spoke, yelled after her older siblings.  She is the tasmanian devil of big-kid envy. (The use of the word Devil used with complete affection.) Coco wants so much to be Just Like Tink.  Or read big books Just Like The Kid. 
There is a "but WHY did I have to be the baby....?" whine on a near daily basis for the past couple years. "WHY did you grow me last?" "Why can't I be big girl clothes??" "WHY can't I be taller?" and mostly... "Why can't I go to school ALL day too?"
Well Baby, now you can.
As a mother, it's pretty hard to be sad over something your child has wanted for so long.  Starting Kindergarten is going to make Coco the most happy little girl ever. She can go to PE! She can have a lunch box! She can learn to read! Fi-na-leeeeeeee.
(Plus Mommy has some plans to enjoy more yoga, maybe get nuts and clean her home, possible take a nap, grow some WBCs, get real crazy and sit in a moment of pure nokidfighting silence...)

Dear Coco-
I love you a million 17 59 100 59 times and more.  I know you will make so many friends with your bright-Daddy-cheerfullness.  Smile full. Laugh loud.  Run Fast. And above all, learn about this big amazing world, which is just waiting for you to fill it.  Fly high baby bird.  This nest was never big enough for you.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Best Pictures Coach and I took this Summer.

In no particular order.
Just awesome happy smiles.
The Kid and his lil Buddy.
Flower Child.

Sun Bathing Beauty.
The. Best. Picture.  Hands Down.
The Kid was a little nervous to get on this horse and asked his Dad to help him up.  Look at The Kid's giant legs!  It's especially funny because The Kid outgrew Coach this summer.  I laughed so hard.

Beach Baby. (Except she only likes the sand)

Brothers in a Card Board Boat.

Blue Berry Pickin on a Family Monday.

Last Day of Swim Lessons.

Sisters loving their All Star Brother.

Baby Boo is born!  Love this picture. Love this baby.

Shelbyville cousins, with a twist.

Girls, Girls, Girls.

The Kid, throwing Strikes.

Sweet Friends.
 New Orleans!!

 Camping makes Coco sleepy.

Baseball was the Magic Word this summer.

Amazing Days we did not have our camera but REALLY should have...
1. Boondocks. Jeep Ride. Drummer too cool to ash..
2. Family Train Trip afternoon.
3. Surprise Bloodys on The Porch followed by the VF.

Good Times Summer 2014. Good Times.