Bucket List

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This morning as I was collecting laundry from the girls’ bedrooms, I stumbled across a bucket list my daughter wrote of the things she wants to accomplish this summer. She’ll be starting high school in the fall but looking over her list reminds me very much that she is still in many ways a little girl. The list is comprised of simple things like watching a sunrise and sunset, creating a side-walk mural with chalk, making play-dough and coloring a coloring book (whole thing) as she puts it. What does this list say about her? What words would describe this child? Playful, dreamer, ambitious, creative, decisive and perhaps a little obsessive. Seriously do most kids make lists like this? I love seeing that she is organized and sets goals for herself. I know those two skills will serve her well in life. My eyebrows raised slightly when I learned she wants to dye her hair with chalk and acquire sun tattoos. While neither is permanent and I’m thankful for her sense of reason, it is a reminder of the fact that she is growing up and we are heading into the uncharted territory of asserted independence. It is hard to believe that she will be heading off to ninth grade in September. High school, the beginning of the final chapter of her life in our home as a child. Knowing there will be many wonderful adventures beyond high school pulls me back from the sad feeling of lost childhood. Her birthday is approaching and the list has provided me with several gift ideas. I can’t help but think, however, that her little list is really a gift to me. It may be an opportunity to make some final childish memories. Before long she will no longer enjoy making an indoor fort, creating shaving cream art or spending the day shopping on the boardwalk. Finding her list on her desk this morning is one of those moments that will forever live in my memory.

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No More Excuses

NewStorageI finally have a place to organize photos and old family papers. Now I just need the motivation to compile dates, names and images into a family tree. I haven’t informed my girls yet but NO, I haven’t finished or really even started a baby book for either one. Shame. See I’m not much of a “scrapbooker.” I always WANTED to make them gorgeous books filled with memories of their childhood but it was just so overwhelming. I’ve purchased the books, the paper, the stickers, you name it I’ve got it! But I waited too long and now the task to too daunting. So when my girls finally have homes of their own I’ll present them with the boxes of photos (organized by age) that I always intended to use in their baby books, folders of school papers (also organized but by grade) that were too cute to discard and a compiled family history. At this point compiling the family history is the goal.

This weekend I found the perfect chest to house my collection of family artifacts and it has inspired me to get to work. The little green dresser I found on Craiglist for $40 was the perfect size for the space in my living room. It allowed me to compile all the marriage and baptismal records I found in my grandmother’s home after her passing and boxes of photos I was stashing throughout the house. Going through these mementos to compile the family history is going to be my “rainy day summer project.” In the mean-time I just couldn’t let this cute dresser sit alone in the living room. The twelve gallon crock, rescued from my grandfather’s basement, is providing additional storage. The Pottery Barn/Ana White inspired shelves are filled with reminders of my summer goal and this chest’s current purpose. Finally, I needed a little catch-all for papers I am currently processing. The large distressed box on the dresser was made from two cedar fence pickets and finished with a steel-wool vinegar stain.

I just love the space. I’m reminded daily of the job that is housed in this area and am looking forward to a few dreary, rainy days that will surely arrive once the humid Virginia summer is upon us.

Better Late than Never

Parenting mistake number….well, honestly I’ve lost count. My husband and I agreed that our role as parents was to assist our daughters in discovering their gifts. Doing this has meant providing them with opportunities to participate in a multitude of activities and sports. Only time will tell if our efforts will result in success but I recently recognized a mistake we were making. Continue reading

Mini Bathroom Makeover

Have I said I love Pinterest? I just completed a mini make-over of our downstairs full bath for around $200 and was completely inspired by Pinterest. The tile and bathroom pieces are yellow and absolutely need a little updating but we are currently renovating a half-bath so a major renovation will have to wait. This room was looking quite dated with the floral Laura Ashley decor and I was hoping to tone down the yellow with a more neutral color pallet. Sorry I didn’t think to take a before picture but I did snap a picture of the old curtain and shower curtain. I’m a little ashamed to show the curtain and shower curtain but I could never find anything to go with that yellow so the bathroom was stuck in the 90’s.

Bath
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Raised Beds

IMAG0088Since the calendar tells me it is spring it is time to begin readying the raised garden beds. In our backyard, we have two where we usually grow herbs, peppers, tomatoes and lettuce. We made these beds several years ago because we were tired of fighting the weed battle. After using the raised beds for a year I also appreciated the fact that I could sit on the edge of the bed while working in the dirt. Continue reading

A New Christmas Tradition

Being the mother of teen-aged daughters is bitter-sweet. I delight in the passing of diaper bags, daycare bills, temper tantrums, and happy-meals (don’t tell the Golden Arches). Along with developing beyond these inconveniences so too pass the little moments I cherish. Also gone are the requests to “hold me,” the bed-time stories, the nighttime bedroom visitor with tiny cold feet, and the need for mom’s reassurance the night before the first day of school. It is rewarding to watch your children develop into more than you could have ever imagined. Yet watching these milestones pass leaves a parent nostalgic for time gone by. Recently a new chapter started in our house after we came clean to our youngest daughter about “The Big Man in Red.” Funny, she was probably pretending to believe to not hurt our feelings. We didn’t want to crush her innocence so we all played along, much longer than I had hoped. Continue reading