Daily Reads


the shoes and jewelry stage


1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

There comes a time in a girl's pregnancy when she has to stop, take stock of what is happening to her body, come to terms with the state of things, and work with what she's got. I have arrived at that place, friends. (25 weeks tomorrow!!) I think of it as the "shoes and jewelry stage" because shoes and jewelry still fit the way I want and they draw attention away from the oh-so-large parts in the middle. I've got plenty of comfy basics for summer - tanks, skirts, shorts, and stretchy dresses - but I'd like a happy necklace that will perk up my mostly neutral wardrobe and "draw the eye upward" as needed ;)

I fell in love with number 1 after I saw it here (the colors are so good - it looks great with everything!) but it was way out of budget. So, I went on the hunt for a more reasonable substitute (with some help from my sister - thanks, Van!) and found all of these beauties! Number 7 is just what I was looking for, and the price is so good I'm tempted to grab number 4 too....

P.S. This shop has some really beautiful rope necklaces that would be gorgeous for summer.


A big brother for bun

22 weeks

My pregnancy app tells me that at the end of this week I'll be six months pregnant (six months!) and I have yet to write a true pregnancy post about this sweet little nugget on the way. I could feel guilty about this - I want to celebrate every checkup, every kick in my tummy, every craving and every little thing that makes this pregnancy special as I did with Michael - but I don't feel guilty. Not at all. I'm pouring myself into my first baby right now.

I've been praying and, at times, hanging on by a thread through these "terrible twos" (which actually started around 20 months) and I think we're finally emerging on the other side. God heard my exasperated prayers for patience and guidance and whatever it was that Michael needed. And after a while when I didn't know what else to pray for I just hugged him, and loved him, and let him cling to me and push other people away for a while. I stopped trying to force Michael to grow out of that phase, and loved him through it instead. Then, one day after months of him refusing to talk to strangers without getting upset, he struck up a conversation with a woman in the grocery store, grinning and telling her about "fishies". A few days later at church, he ran through the door into Bible class without me and didn't look back. He started playing pretend games with his Dad in the evenings that didn't include me. Just like that, a piece of the terrible twos was over.

Just like when he finally started sleeping through the night, and when he stopped nursing - he did it when he was ready. I couldn't make it happen, and I couldn't have predicted when it would happen. And, I'm sure there will still be rocky times ahead, but he's ready and he has let go of me a little bit more. Where once there was a timid, demanding, clingy toddler, now there is a happy, confident, independent, funny, loving little boy. Just the kind of kid who is meant to be a big brother. Just the kind of big brother I want for our second baby.

So I'm going to keep covering him in love and attention and adventures outside and trips to the zoo and all the things that make him come alive with excitement. I'm going to build him up as strong as I can for all of the changes that will come with the arrival of his little brother. There probably won't be a lot of blog posts or an elaborate baby book awaiting this baby when he is born, but he will have a big brother ready and waiting to love him. And he will have a mama who is just a little more peaceful, a little more sure of herself than she was the first time around.

Mother's Day - 23 weeks

~linking up with Jellibean Journals~


The big blue chest of drawers

After being inspired by this photo for months, we finally set aside some time and refinished our old wooden chest of drawers and I couldn't be happier with the result! 
So here she is before her makeover. This chest has been in my family for over 25 years (and someone else's family before that - my parents bought it at a consignment shop in the 80s!) It's been used as a dresser in many different bedrooms, and now we're using it in the living room for storage and as a record stand. It's a pretty piece, and it wasn't so bad before, but  in our living room with the wooden floors and the adjacent brown leather couch it was just too much wood and too much brown. I also thought the space needed some shine, and I wanted to swap out the dark antique-style hardware for something a little more fresh and shiny. I knew I liked the look of bold color with brass hardware because I had seen it here on Little Green Notebook, and here on Hommemaker (with tutorial included).

I loosely followed the steps in the Hommemaker tutorial, above. (I skipped sanding since we were doing the whole job indoors, in our living room, while our toddler slept, I'm pregnant and not as nimble as I used to be, and I was assured by the nice lady at Lowes that sanding was unnecessary if I used primer. She was wrong. And while the finish is fine, it's less than the perfect, glossy lacquer I had imagined. I wish I had followed Orlando's instructions and just done a little sanding! Lesson learned for next time.) So, here's what we did:
First, we removed all the old hardware, and I wiped the whole chest down with a damp cloth to remove dust and anything else that might be on the surface. Next we painted the whole unit with a latex primer. We used a foam roller for the large flat surfaces and a brush for the more detailed work. Then we applied two coats of a high-gloss latex paint, allowing the paint to dry fully for 24 hours between coats. I let everything dry for three days before we put it back together and put on the new hardware (we used these and these). 

And that's it! Not bad at all, considering the way this has changed our living room. It's so much brighter and fresher now. I feel like it updated the whole space. And now that I know how easy it is, I'm eyeing several other wooden pieces around the house that could use some color....