3 years ago today (Dear Kole)

{THEN}

{NOW}

Oh Mr. Kole.  My little boyfriend.  Today you turn three.  I don’t think you can turn three.  You are too good at being two.  In fact, you pretty much have the two year old thing mastered.  :)

I can’t look at these recent pictures without smiling.  They so perfectly capture your little expressions and personality.  You are so much fun right now.  And so much trouble.  Fun and trouble all mixed into one.  Your favorite thing to say is “not yet.”  It cracks us up.  Sometimes you say it so matter of fact.  “Kole – it’s time to brush your teeth” —  “not yet.”  Sometimes you say it when you are mad and throwing a fit.  “Kole it’s time for a nap.”  NOT! YETTTTT!!!!!!!”  You are still such a mommas boy.  We are together 24/7 and we both prefer it that way.  Sometimes if I’m away from you it feels nice to have a break.  For about 20 minutes.  Then I start to miss you and wonder what you are up to and I can’t wait to see you again.  You love your sisters so much Kole.  You call them “my Ellie” and “my Addie.”  When they are at school you run around upstairs calling “my Ellie!” “my Addie!”  “where are you!?”  Then when I tell you they are at school you get mad and yell “not yet!”  :)  You also adore your daddy and get so excited to see him.  I have a hard time getting you in bed at night because you don’t want to leave dad’s side.  You still love your pillows Kole.  You love to pile them all up on my bed and then tap all of us on the shoulder to “come play.”  So we do.  We all pile on the bed and play in the pillows with you.  Your favorite is when dad tosses you high in the air on top of them all.  You also love to cuddle.  Our favorite time together is right after you wake up from your nap.  I get you out of your crib and we come downstairs to the couch and we turn on Peppa Pig (your favorite) and then we cuddle.  We cuddle as long as we possibly can.  We are always bummed when our cuddle time is interrupted by life and the schedule.  You love swinging at the park, practicing your ABC’s, riding in the car, Eggo waffles, taking baths, and your choo choo trains.  You are working hard on your speech Kole.  I am so proud of how hard you try and of all of the progress you’ve made this year.  Your therapists adore you.  Even though they say you have “compliance issues.”  I have to suppress a smile sometimes when you are acting up in therapy.  You love to stir things up and get a reaction.  Like I said before, you are very good at being two.  :)  You are one big ball of energy Kole.  You love to run and climb and jump and play play play and mess up your sisters toys and mess up the house and mess up the laundry and mess up whatever you can find to mess up.  You make life messy.  And I never thought I’d say this, but because of you, I’m starting to like messy too.  I wouldn’t change one hair on your sweet smelling head little buddy.  
At least “not yet.”  :)
Love you so much Kole -
Happy Birthday!

xoxo,

mommy

Fashion Friday – Stella and Dot Giveaway!

Happy Friday everyone!  Ok.  So you know I’m not much of a giveaway person.  But when Lindsay (a darling mom of four and blog reader) contacted me and mentioned Stella and Dot I was tempted.  Because I really like Stella and Dot jewelry.  Then when she mentioned that if I host an on-line show a portion of the proceeds will go to a charity or cause of my choice I said YES PLEASE!  So cute Lindsay sent me a necklace…

And the packaging was enough to know I’d made a smart choice.  Isn’t it adorable?
Hello gorgeous.  
Well.  Hello right back.  :)
 The necklace I have been wearing all week is called The Piper 
(comes in gold and silver – I chose silver).  
 This picture and my bad lighting doesn’t do it justice.  It’s so pretty.  And simple.  And feminine.  

And it just seems to go with every scoop/v-neck top I have.  I love the simplicity of it on its own for every day.  It would also be perfect for layering with other necklaces.  Right now I have my eye on the Together Forever necklace – so cute to wear the two together!  I know this necklace will become a staple for me.  And I want to give one away to one of you!  Leave a comment if you are interested.

I also have an on-line Stella and Dot trunk show open.  Spring is such a busy time of time year with Mother’s Day, Graduations, birthdays, baby showers (I buy more gifts during April/May than any other time of year!).  This is a perfect solution for gifts.  And it never  hurts to pick up a little something for yourself while you’re at it.  :)  Aside from the Together Forever necklace I mentioned, here are a few other items I have my eye on right now:

The Zinnia Bracelet (I’m such a sucker for green!) 
The Radiance Coil Bracelet (so simple and elegant) 
The Serenity Stone Drops (also a sucker for turquoise!)
CUTE cute stuff.  I hope you find something you love too!  

A percentage of the proceeds from my trunk show will go towards Autism Research.  Which I’m thrilled about.  Also, the month of April is Autism Awareness month and Stella & Dot is donating 20% of retail sales from their Autism Awareness Collection to support the HollyRod Foundation.  There is a guaranteed $10,000 donation which is amazing!  This collection will be open starting April 1st.

Shopping and giving.  Two of my favorite things!  So leave a comment with your name and city to enter the giveaway and check out the fun jewelry in my trunk show.  And while you’re at it, have a fabulous Easter weekend!

:)

Book shelf organization

Did you all just fall off your chair!?  I organized something!  Oh how I’ve missed organizing.  Ever since the new house stuff kicked into overdrive I haven’t had much time for my beloved passion.  Sure I’ve kept up my already organized spaces, but I haven’t been able to take on any new projects.  Until last weekend that is!  Kenny and the girls went camping so Kole and I went a bit crazy.  We seriously cleaned our house from top to bottom.  (I say “we” in the loosest sense of the word.)  :)  It felt so good!  And a certain bookshelf was the first thing I tackled.  
This is a picture I took years ago of our guest room bookshelves.  Not a great picture, but it shows the purpose of the shelves which was well..  to store our books.  This room is a small one and the bed takes up most of the space but we didn’t have any other place for our books to go, so this is where they ended up.  It was working fine… until El moved into this room.  Ellie started sleeping in this room a little over a year ago when we realized the girls just could not get to sleep at a decent time sharing a bedroom.  They stayed up way too late chatting and then we all paid for it the next day!  So we moved El into the guest bedroom.  
I re organized the closet to make it functional for her, but the bookcases stayed the same.  

And before long they looked like this.  

And this.  Half way taken over by toys.  Unorganized piles everywhere.  It drove me crazy every time I walked into her room.  Without any real storage for her things these shelves became a catch all for any and everything.  
So Kole and I sorted through all of the books, got rid of books we don’t need anymore, and boxed up the rest!  Kole was a huge help with the boxing.  And yes.  He is still wearing Christmas pj’s.  Just in time for Easter.  :)

Among other things I came across some of my old teacher plan books.  Too fun to reminisce!  :)
After a few hours of cleaning and boxing (and lots of Thomas the train and snack breaks in between) El’s shelves looked like this…

Removing the books gave me room to store toys that were taking over other areas of the house.  This is not how I would have organized this space if we were staying put for a while.  I didn’t label bins or spend a lot of time thinking about how these shelves would function.  This is just a better solution for the next few months until it’s time to box up the toys and move!  

We kept a few books on the shelves.  El’s favorites that have been read over and over.  Junie B. Jones, Ivy and Bean, Little House on the Prairie,

and my favorite – the Beverly Cleary collection.  Speaking of books El loves, she is currently obsessed with the Thea Stilton series.  Very fun for 6-12 age girls!  Ad is loving The Boxcar Children.  Nothing like great children’s literature.

So that’s it!  Not a major makeover, but it feels SO good to have all of our books boxed up and ready to move.  It also feels amazing to walk into El’s room and not cringe!  Organization just calms the mind, doesn’t it!?  I can’t wait to start tackling spaces in the new house.  I keep trying to convince Kenny that when the new house is finished we should keep living in our current house and I’ll just pop up to the new house to clean and organize and decorate it for a few hours each day.  Once in a while he and the kids can come and visit.  But only if they take their shoes off and don’t touch a thing.  

I don’t think he’s buying it.  
;)  

House update

Popping in with a few recent pics of the latest progress!

Sample stair newel post.  
My inspiration picture.  I added a recessed panel to match our shaker style cabinets, but aside from that said copy this!  

 We are adding a fun detail on the treads going up.  I’m excited to see how it looks when it’s all finished!

Picked out the pavers for our front/back yard.  
 And A LOT of progress has been made on the outside.  Front door is primed, siding panels are in place, porch lids are completed…
and we are ready for rock!  I’ve been having second (OK twenty-second) thoughts about the rock going around and above our front door.  Wondering if I should just keep the siding look there as well and only use the rock as a wainscot in other places?  I’m not sure, but I need to decide quickly!  Like tomorrow. 

Someone asked about my ceiling/door size when I shared this pic of my mudroom last week:

She mentioned that my dutch door was so big it made the door into my mudroom look like a little hobbit door.  That made me laugh!

That door isn’t the entrance into the room, it’s storage under the staircase (a hobbit door with a purpose).  Thought I better clear that up in case anyone else thought that too!  I’m short, but not that short.  :)

Oh!  Just noticed it’s midnight.  Happy Tuesday friends!

Fashion Friday

Fashion Friday!  By no means am I claiming to be all that fashionable, but clothes are fun and we need a little fun on Friday, right?  Right.  Spring is in the air!  I love Spring fashion.  The bright colors are so HAPPY.

This is a top I bought at the Banana Republic Outlet last Fall, but I pulled it out this week and decided it was perfect for Spring too!  This color of yellow works great for either time of year.  And I’m thinking great for Summer too since it’s so lightweight.  I love it when I find versatile clothes that work throughout the year. 

Another look at this blouse in a poorly lit iPhone pic taken at the Cheesecake Factory last October.  Oh my word.  The Cheesecake Factory.  Now I’m hungry.  And it’s past 11:00 at night.  I can’t eat something this late.  Or can I?  I might have to.  :)

 I have been loving my huge gold hoop earrings lately and have been wearing them a lot.   
They make me want to tell someone their fortune.  

 Plus they seem to work with everything.  

 This dress cinches above the waist and I’ve mentioned this great tip before:
 (get ready – great tip coming)

** it is always flattering to draw attention to the smallest part of your body.  For most women that is above the waist at the rib cage.  A little something I picked up from watching way too many episodes of TLC’s What Not to Wear.  Thank you Stacey and Clinton!  Now I just need to find a miracle outfit that also makes me look tanner.  :)

And since March weather is notorious for being so fickle, here is a Banana Republic sweater I am still wearing on cooler days.  My sister gave me this for Christmas because she knows how much I adore all things simple, grey, and with huge cowl necks.  She nailed it.  It’s a favorite!

Casual and warm.  LOVE the open cowl neck with silver buttons.  
And I love Fridays!  The anticipation of a weekend and time to relax is the best feeling.  
Even though the weekend comes and goes and relaxing doesn’t seem to happen around here.
That’s ok.  I’ll take it anyway.
:)
Enjoy yours!