Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Decorating Zoey's Room {part 1}

   I've been rolling decor ideas for Zoey's room around in my head for a while now. In my last post I mentioned painting it grey, and I've been planning to accent in yellow or lime. Colors that can be somewhat gender neutral if there's a boy baby sharing the room later on. (No, that's not an announcement.)
   I don't consider decor to be a strong point of mine...I can't just decorate on demand, I have to be inspired, and have the right stuff to work with. Once I'm inspired, then I can actually have fun with it!
    By yesterday, I had collected enough pieces of the puzzle, and inspiration hit! I was so absorbed in painting and crafting that I completely lost track of time for a while! I may have dropped the ball a bit on mothering, since Zoey didn't eat lunch until 3:30, but I sure was having a good time! (I was going to post this without a disclaimer, but then I thought you should know that she'd had a big breakfast and was sleeping most of the afternoon, and yada yada, so she's fine. )
There are more projects I'd like to do to add to other parts of the room, but this is a big part of what I was hoping for!

   I started off with a conglomeration of frames I'd collected. I've had some of them for years, and picked a couple of the others up at garage sales this summer. The best part is, I spent very little on this whole under $10! I give much credit to Pinterest, as many of my ideas were sparked by pins I've come across in the past!

  I'm missing photos for most of the in-between steps, but here's what it looked like this morning:

I got this frame for 75 cents at a garage sale last weekend. Granted, it was an ugly color, and broken when I bought it, but I knew I needed it for this wall! I took a picture of Zoey from the side, which is really hard to do, by the way, with a busy child who will look AT the camera, but doesn't understand looking straight ahead away from the camera! I printed it, cut it out, traced it onto white cardstock, cut it out again, and put it on gray patterned cardstock.   

I loved the uniqueness of this round frame the moment I spotted it at a garage sale for 25 cents. Add a little yellow paint and voila! I punched the hearts out of the paint sample strips I had picked up when choosing colors for the walls, and zigzaged them together with my sewing machine!

I have a stash of free digital papers on my computer, so I used those to design this wall hanging. So inexpensive to do! 

The rest of the small frames were plastic Family Dollar frames that I'd had for a long, long time! I painted those as well, and put some of Zoey's baby pictures in them! Convenient that she was wearing yellow for that photo shoot!

This arrangement is actually centered on the wall, although those lovely strips make it look otherwise. Prefab home problems.

Here's a really helpful tip I found for hanging an arrangement like this:

Lay everything out on a big sheet of paper (I used wrapping paper).

Mark out where each piece will be, and poke holes where the nails should go.
Tack the paper up to the wall, and pound the nails in.

When you take paper down, all your nails are in place and you can hang everything up, easy peasy! I only had to move 1 nail! It's really great if you're working alone and don't have anyone to hold items up while you stand back and decide on placement!

I called this post part 1 because it's the beginning...I'm not promising a blog post for each future step, but we shall see.

Good day!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Moving and Home Improvements

   Two years ago, I posted that we were moving out to Tom's parents' place. It's hard to believe that it's already two years later, and we've now moved back to our little house on the edge of town!

(this photo is not a representation of the current state of my flowerbeds.)

   As odd as this may sound, we're actually enjoying living back in our humble little double-wide! Don't get me wrong, Dan's house is quite nice, and we really did enjoy our time there! But there's something about taking ownership of a place...even if it's a little tiny house, with fake wood kitchen cabinets and water that requires a Brita pitcher to make it drinkable. It's ours, and we can dream and paint and remodel, and that's worth something at least! 
   Due to some apprehension about how we would squeeze back into the little place, we did a little brainstorming about some changes that we could make. The kitchen, especially, makes me feel cramped, since I don't have a pantry. I also thought it would be very convenient to find a way to add a dishwasher. So, we decided to remove the patio door on the back side of the house. It wasn't hard to give up the patio door, because being on the west side of the house, it let in a lot of sun (and heat) in the afternoon. So, my amazing husband strapped on his tool belt and made this happen:

    The plan is move the fridge to the other side of that little wall. Then, in the spot where the fridge was, we'll install a dishwasher, and a section of upper cabinets. That will be a big improvement, in my opinion! 
   We also painted one of the extra bedrooms, and now Zoey has a room of her own! I wasn't sure how that adjustment would go, but so far she doesn't seem to mind at fact we all seem to be sleeping more peacefully! :)

   I'm hopeful that at some point we will change the carpet to something that matches with the grey walls. I also have a good deal of pinterest-ing and decorating that I hope to do before I call her room finished!
   All of the above happened last week, from Monday to Friday. We spent every evening here at the house, and each time we came, I loaded the trusty minivan with boxes and other debris. So, while Tom worked on his projects, I unpacked. A big thanks to my mom and sisters who spent a day helping me with painting! By the time Saturday arrived, we just had the furniture and one more van-load of odds and ends to move!
   The last improvement that we wanted to make immediately when we moved back, was to change the flooring in the master bath. It was carpeted, and I much prefer linoleum when it comes to keeping a bathroom clean! We found a nice little remnant at Menards, and last evening Tom put it in. (Zoey tried to be very helpful too!)

   While the trim was off anyway, I gave it a fresh coat of paint...that should be going back up before too long!
   So, that's the latest around here. There are still a good number of boxes to go through, and flower beds to make pretty, and walls to decorate, so I probably won't be bored for a while. I'm just glad that the actual move is over, I don't get the biggest charge out of packing and stacking and hauling boxes. :)

   A side note: That big house that we just moved out's for sale. So, if you're looking for a lovely home in Northern Wisconsin, there ya go! :)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Zoey Turns One

    It's a quiet Monday morning here. I'm under a blanket by the fireplace and Zoey is napping. Oh, scratch that...I hear her bumping around in the crib now.
   My goals for today are to do the laundry, straighten up the piles around the house that have accumulated over the weekend, and decide what to make for supper. I know, my ideals are sky high. I'll probably get around to doing a few more things that aren't on this list, if nothing else there will be a diaper or two to change in my spare time. ☺
    Last week we has short notice company, which we were pleased about! Tom's parents flew home for a funeral in the extended family, so we got to have them here for a few days. It was pretty fun to have both sets of grandparents here for Zoey's first birthday party! ☺
   Yup, that little miss is a year old did that even happen?
   On Wednesday, the day of her birthday we got home from picking up Dan's at the airport around noon. I wanted to make a cake to practice for her "real party", plus do a little cake smash photo shoot with her, so that I could relax and enjoy the party that we were having for her on Friday evening. So, I spent the rest of my day hurrying to bake a cake, cool it, frost it, set up an area to take the photos, wrap the gifts, etc. As I hurried, I wondered if I was setting myself up for mommy guilt if I don't do this for all of my children. ☺

     As it turned out, Zoey (with a lady-likeness that I didn't know she possessed) did not destroy the cake, even though we coaxed her to dig in! So, instead of making another cake for Friday evening, I just filled the hole with frosting, and let her go at it again. This time around, she had coaching from her uncle Eric, and a bunch of boys (cousins and young uncles) . Her adorable cousin Annie also joined the fun, but even the two of them together didn't do very much damage! ☺

     Sometime in the 4 hours since I started this blog post, my writing inspiration has flown. The picturesque scene has changed...the fireplace has gone cold, the blanket is on the floor, and I've been holding a cranky child much of the forenoon. However, the sun is shining, the laundry is getting done--slowly, and the house is still needing attention. So I will leave you with this short post and a promise to be back someday!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Better Overdue Than Never

     I'm sitting in the office today. It's quiet, except for the hum of the computer. Zoey is napping in the back room.
    For those of you who don't know, I occasionally fill in at the Kinetico office here in town. I'm just on call for whenever the full-time gal needs a few days off. My only job is to be here from 8:30 to 5 to assist walk-in customers who need to buy a replacement filter or a gallon of peroxide. I'm on day 3 of 4 for this week, and so far there's been one customer per day. Yeah. It's quiet. But, it's pretty handy that I get to bring Zoey with me, and earn a bit of extra grocery money while catching up on whatever projects I want to bring along!
   I'm not complaining, but I will just say that I have no desire to work this many days back to back on a regular basis. With plans every evening this week, I'm finding it interesting to fit my regular house work into the few hours I have at home! I wouldn't make a great career woman, apparently.
    Yesterday, my sister joined me with her sewing machine, and we had a grand time in the back room, sewing and gabbing to our hearts' content!
      In three days Zoey will be 11 months old. That's fearfully close to a year, and my baby is hardly a baby any more! She took her first steps right at 9 months, so she's getting to be quite an independent little miss now. Sometimes I walk into the kitchen to find three or four cupboard doors standing open, and a nice selection of dishes scattered around on the floor. I have to be careful to keep the pantry door closed tightly, or she will raid the waste can for any tasty morsel. (Tasty is a questionable adjective to use when describing morsels found in the garbage, I realize; but she has a lot to learn on that subject.)
    She has a few words that she can say clearly, and "mom" isn't one of them. There's often a steady flow of chatter coming from wherever she's playing, which is something I love to hear. I can only imagine what it will be like when the baby talk is replaced with real words...Tom and I may not get a word in edgewise!
     December was pretty much full of family holiday gatherings. Tom's parents were home for two weeks, which included time spent with all the local Schrocks at a lodge nearby. We celebrated Christmas with my family a few days early. Then over Christmas, my family and some of my extended family (grandma, aunts, uncles, and cousins) came to our house for about 4 days. All of these were wonderful times. I'm so thankful for families that love each other, and that can spend several days together and still love each other! 
     By the time New Years Eve rolled around, we were quite content to stay at home with our little family. We even went to bed at 10:30, but Zoey was sweet enough to cry out at 11:58 so that we could all wake up and see the New Year in. 

     So far, January has been lived at a slower pace. It's a nice pace for winter time. But still, I have projects that aren't getting done. Must. Learn. To. Prioritize. And. Stop. Procrastinating. Before I know it, all my time is going to be consumed with getting ready for the big move back to the little house!

        So, I'm off. Now that I've taken care of the "I-should-post-on-the-blog" project, maybe I can go get a few Mixbook pages done. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

A World Where There Are Octobers

Again, I've waited too long between posts and now I don't know where to begin with an update. 
        Life has been good, and busy, and we're blessed. I'll try to cover some things that I'm thankful for. (This is in no way a comprehensive list!)
        I don't update on facebook a lot, but when I do it's often about Zoey...our world kind of revolves around her these days.  So, these photos of Zoey at 7 months will be repeats to those of you who are facebook friends.

    Zoey is getting pretty mobile. She is very nearly least she has an idea of how to go about it, but more often she opts to just scoot on her tummy. She can get herself into a sitting position and occasionally even a standing one, depending who or what is near enough to use to pull herself up.  She has started feeding herself small pieces of food that are put in front of her, and I have yet to discover a food that she doesn't like. Basically, when she's eating, she's happy...can you tell by those cheeks?! Her hair is growing, although you could easily argue otherwise! I love watching her discover things, and learn how to's so fascinating to see her mind work. Sometimes I wonder how much more often we smile and laugh every day now that we have a little person for entertainment! She gives me lots of reasons for a thankful heart.
    At the beginning of September, we had a major wind/hail storm that really made a mess of our town. Tom spent 10 hours cleaning up trees with the fire department, to make roads passable. Other than a few trees down, there was no damage to Tom's parents property (where we currently live). However, the house we own in town had a good bit of hail damage, so we will be replacing siding and shingles, etc. For all the times I've felt that insurance is such a big black hole to throw money into, this incident has made me very thankful for it!

     Last month I also discovered what a really bad toothache is, and consequently took my first trip to the dentist. I was given the choice of a root canal or an extraction, and I chose the latter. I am grateful for modern dentistry, and the fact that a great big molar can be ripped from my mouth without causing even a little bit of pain!
     A couple of weeks ago Zoey and I spent a day with all of my sisters. We shopped a handful of thrift stores, went to Panera Bread for lunch and took an afternoon break at Cherry Berry. Kara and I have always been close, but now my "little" sisters are young ladies too, and it was so fun to spend the day together! I'm glad I have such great girls for sisters!
(yes, Zoey was pretty distracted by the frozen yogurt!)

     "I'm so glad that I live in a world where there are Octobers." L.M. Montgomery 

   While I love all four seasons, I'm especially glad that God made autumn in Wisconsin so gorgeous! I'm pretty sure I blog about this sentiment every year, but you'll just have to deal with it!Fall also gives me a reason and inspiration to do some decorating. Inspiration to decorate is a rare thing around here. This year I had fun finding DIY projects online and using those to decorate.

I had to alter some of the projects a little bit, but links to the original ideas are here:

   I hope you're all having a lovely fall...what's your favorite part of this season?

P.S. I'm also more than thankful for the man in this picture.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Traveling, Parenting, and Pictures

  It's Tuesday. And it's my first full day of being 24. Not that there's anything significant about that...just a random fact. ☺ I had a good birthday, doing normal housewife-y things, but I kept the day relaxing too. And the highlight of the day for me was a supper date with Tom!

    Ok, so it's Wednesday now, and I'm back. I've been meaning to do an update for quite a while now, so I need to check my photos to see what I need to update on.
    One thing that made July a busy month for us was a trip to West Virginia for Tom's family reunion. It was a lovely time of reconnecting with family, and making memories. However, there were a lot of miles to travel between home and West Virginia, and I think all three of us were happy to be out of the van, and back in our house! A random sampling of pictures for a taste of our week:

Grandparents and the grands:

The Dan Schrock tribe (with the exception of Ricky, who is in Guatemala) 

    Zoey turned 5 months old while we were gone, and since we're home she has caught on to rolling over...and over and over! Between that and her walker, she really gets around and explores the house! 

    She's still a mostly happy baby, although nights have been quite a bit more interrupted than they were when she was younger. I know, she spoiled me at first and now it's coming back to bite me. *sigh* That doesn't make me enjoy the interrupted nights any better! ☺
   Zoey's only 5 1/2 months old, so I might be crazy, but last night at bedtime we had what felt like our first "parents vs. baby" battle of wills. Without going into detail, I'll just say that when we finally had her settled and sleeping, I went to bed with the responsibility of parenting weighing on me like it never has before. More than ever, I realized our need of running to Jesus for wisdom. To know how to pick our battles, and how to stand our ground, yet let Zoey know that she's loved, and that she means the world to us. And if we feel dependent on Him when she's 5 months old, I can only guess how we'll feel when she's 15! ☺


 I recently mashed peas and carrots for Zoey and froze them in an ice tray for individual portions.
She didn't mind her first taste of carrots, and she sure did enjoy smearing it all over her face! 

   Pictures from a quick photo shoot I did of Zoey. Her beautiful smiles melt me!☺

A recent update to Zoey's "closet" space:

    And so, that's a bit of our life recently. It's good, it has its challenges, and we have a God who cares about every detail. Not only does He care about every detail of my life, He cares about every detail of yours, as well...don't ever doubt it!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

From a Momma's Heart

  To my firstborn daughter:

    There are people in this world that I love...lots of people, actually, though in varying degrees of the word. 
     I love your daddy fiercely. If you're ever afraid to fall in love, the way I once was; let me assure you that if you find a man as good as your dad, there is nothing to be afraid of. 
     Find a man who is strong, but gentle. Find a man who knows what he believes, but is willing to listen to your opinions. Find a man who respects authority. God's authority, most importantly, but there will be others in a man's life who he must be able to work with respectfully. The way he respects others is very likely how he will respect you. Look for a man who tells you that you're beautiful, but who loves you for much more than good looks. You'll be so glad for a man like that when you're carrying your own first born. When you feel that you've lost all physical beauty forever, but he still tells you that you're beautiful to him, you'll know what a good man he is. Find a man who will work hard to provide for you, but one who knows that money can't buy your happiness, and that moments together and memories made will be what keeps you falling in love with him over and over. You'll need a man that you can laugh with, but one with whom you have the freedom to cry. 
    You see, that's who your daddy is to me, and I hope that you'll find a man at least almost as good for yourself some day (when you're much older, of course!).

    Now the way I love you is different than the way I love your dad, but I'd say it's equally fierce. Right now you're so little, so sweet, and so innocent. There are so many times throughout the day that I just literally feel my heart swell with love for you. I love to bury my face in your sweet rolls of baby fat and kiss your face like there's no tomorrow. Because really, it will seem like only tomorrow when suddenly you'll be a big girl, and you won't like Mommy's kisses so much. But for now, you're happy to grab my face with your little hands and slobber all over my really is the sweetest thing ever! In the last 4 months, my hands have gone to sleep more than ever before...from holding your hand on car rides, or hanging over the crib to pat your bottom until you've fallen asleep. But then I watch you sleeping and every numb hand is just so worth it...

     But the love that I hope I can best teach you about is a love for God. To be really honest, teaching you that scares me a little. Because, you see, sometimes I'm going to tell you one thing about loving God, and then you're going to see me act another thing...I know you're going to pick up on that. That doesn't mean that what I tell you isn't true, it just means that Mom's still learning too, and will sometimes make mistakes. When my example fails, I pray that you'll be able to find Jesus' example; and that's an example that will never, ever fail you. Your daddy and I are going to pray hard for the answers to the questions you'll ask, because I know you're going to ask some big ones...every child does. And someday, I pray that you will make the decision to love Jesus with all of your heart and soul and mind, forever. 
    I will love you, always and forever--no matter what, baby girl.
                                                             ~Your mommy