Let’s Pretend I’m a DIY Blogger.

So, here’s the story.

I got fed up with not having enough drawer space in our kitchen. So I started googling ideas for more kitchen storage. And the thought popped up in my head, “I wonder if I can make a kitchen island… like, a rolling kitchen island that has more storage and counter space…”

So I googled. And low and behold, I saw these:

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So naturally I started Craigslist hunting. And Goodwill hunting. And stalking sketchy neighborhoods for thrown out pieces of furniture. And finally, I found this:

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I brought it home and told my terrified husband that “it would only be a weekend project.”

Unfortunately, it ended up having a couple flaws I didn’t realize until I brought it home. The bottom legs would not really support wheels to make it how I wanted, and it was a tad wobbly.

So Mark ended up having to help, as he presumed he would. He sawed off the unusable legs, got plywood, evened everything out, and made it happen.

After that it took a lot of sanding, stripping, and sweating, and then I got to do the fun part: Painting.

 

Mark plopped wheels onto the bottom, and here it is!

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It’s perfect for our kitchen storage needs.

Cutting boards and stuff…

Measuring stuff…
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TUPPERWARE STORAGE, PRAISE THE HEAVENS!

IMG_5998 IMG_5999 A kid stuff drawer…
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A cat stuff drawer…
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You get the point. It’s awesome.

Anyway. I’m totes not a DIY-er blogger, but in case anyone else wanted inspiration for a storage solution, here you go! It’s hard work, but it is already paying off.

 

 

Pregnancy Projects.

For some reason, when I’m pregnant, I get the DIY itch. I start googling furniture restoration ideas and before I know it, I’ve located a piece that needs loving on Craigslist, spend too much money on supplies to make it perfect, and spend days in the garage sweating and wishing I had just not started this huge mess.

But you know what? There’s nothing like seeing something in your home that YOU made. Or helped make. Or refinished or changed or covered. It’s hard sweaty work, especially when pregnant, but I can’t help myself.

I’ve come a long way from when we first got married. I used to paint antique shutters on grass in our yard, leaving nice window pane streaks of white on the green. I used to plop a piece of furniture on our kitchen floor and paint, assuming I could just clean up the paint off the floor later. I used to think I could use ceiling paint as primer.

Lots of trial and error. But I’m learning so much and I love doing it.

I just spent lots of today painting coats on drawers, stripping the finish off the wood on top, staining the wood, sanding, and doing all sorts of stuff. And I am so exhausted. But it’s coming along. And I can’t wait to show ya’ll how it turns out!

[I’m turning an antique desk into a rolling kitchen island.]

Maybe after this project I’ll take a break and just be pregnant.

But then there’s so many cute things I could paint for baby girl’s room….

Live at Fralo’s Tonight

Hey! If you feel like eating pizza in the sweltering San Antonio sun tonight, I’ll be playing at Fralo’s! Should be fun! Hopefully my large pregnant belly won’t get in the way as I lug my equipment around.

I love playing live. It’s one of my favorite things ever. And this place is so much fun. It’s pet friendly and family friendly and their pizza is seriously awesome.

Hope to see you there!

Fatherhood.

Remember me? How I used to blog and stuff? My website was down for like, a month. And things have been absolutely nuts and we haven’t had time to fix it. Till yesterday.

So hi!

First off, it’s Father’s Day.

I am so grateful for my own daddy, cause I never ever doubted how much he loved me. He worked so hard to provide for us and be there for everything we needed, and made our stomachs hurt from laughing too hard. He’s a wonderful man and helped me know what kind of man I should marry.

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And yes, I was a massive baby.

Which leads me to my baby daddy. I am so grateful for my husband and for the wonderful father he has become. I almost had my doubts when I was pregnant with Jake cause he always said that babies were gross and that he wouldn’t even touch ours till he turned 3 and was fun to play with. But the second Jacob was born all those teases and jokes vanished and he became a different person. He frequently refers to Jake as his “best friend,” and they really do have an incredible relationship. I look forward to seeing him grow with and love each of our children.

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And speaking of children, we found out that we are having a GIRL.

Like. A female human.

It’s crazy. I’m FINALLY not going to be completely outnumbered any more (considering all three of our kitties are guys, too).

We really didn’t see that coming. We always thought we were gonna just have a house full of boys. And I have no idea how to french braid. And sassy little attitudes terrify me. But we will figure this out! And we are beyond thrilled. Jake’s getting a baby sister :) And he will teach her all sorts of potty talk.

Family is everything. Life is good. And only 20 more weeks till we get to meet our sweet girl.

Oh, and let me just wrap up this past month in a nutshell:

We spent two weeks in Portland watching our niece and nephews while the parents took the trip of a lifetime to Europe. It was wonderful and challenging and definitely a learning/growing experience for us. And Jake LOVED playing with his cousins for two weeks straight.

I started my gestational diabetes deal. I feel like all I eat is rabbit food.

Our car died a violent death. So we got a new car. Well, new to us. It’s amazing. RIP Subaru Outback, you were a trooper!

I’ve written new songs. But there’s a tiny human sitting on my organs making it hard to breathe let alone sing. So… eventually I will get videos up. I keep beating myself up for not doing more with my music, but really, this is life. Life has seasons to it. And right now, my life is in the sweaty, pregnant, huge, sweaty season of Texas Summer whilst pregnant. And it’s only gonna get sweatier. So I’m cutting myself some slack.

Happy Daddy Day!

 

Motherhood.

So, I feel super lame. I announced that we are pregnant with baby #2 last Sunday, and I didn’t realize how soon Mothers Day was. That would have been such a fun day to announce it! Oh well.

I am 14 weeks along, and so relieved to have survived the first trimester. Pregnancy is hard, and it’s definitely not my favorite part of motherhood (at least not those first few months where you just feel yucky and tired all the time). But things are getting better, and we are so excited to have a new spirit join our family.

(Side note: Soon we will have to get a 4th cat, so that every human accounted for also has a feline friend.)

(P.S. I’m mostly kidding. We’re already one cat away from crazy.)

I feel a little bad for complaining about anything pregnancy related, because I know so many people struggle with getting pregnant at all. I had a miscarriage last October, which I talked about pretty publicly, but we had another one in January that we were more private about. Both were so hard, but we were blessed with a positive pregnancy test the very next month. Pregnancy is challenging in so many ways, but we are so grateful that it’s happening.

Also, I have gestational diabetes again. Bummer. But it’s probably for the best; I need to get control of these carb cravings, and being forced to definitely helps my will power. Heh.

Jake is turning TWO this week! They say these first years are short and precious, and they are right. He’s such a big boy now and brings us so much joy sometimes we just want to scream. Is that weird?

As far as music goes, I just wrote a new song that I’m excited to share. I started writing it because I was hating morning sickness so much, which sounds super lame. But the song ended up with a message that I think can relate to lots of difficult things in life. So yeah! Now that I’m getting some energy back I’m going to get back to recording.

Anyway! Happy Mothers Day. I’m so grateful for my own mom, as well as all the maternal figures in my life. And I am so grateful that I get to be a mommy, too.

Also, if you want to cry and feel feelings, watch this.

 

Favorite Song of the Week: Part 2

Have you heard of Troye Sivan? He’s a fairly new name in pop music, and has an incredible voice. I don’t listen to all of his stuff, cause it is uncensored and some of it has language I don’t want to listen to. But he’s got a few great songs out that I’ve been addicted to.

This one is my favorite. It’s a duet between him and Alex Hope, and it’s just beautiful music. Check it out!

Pure Childhood.

Remember those sunny days when your parents let you get all messy and muddy? When the little plastic pool was filled up with water (which quickly turned into a grassy swamp land) and everyone just jumped in, clothes or whatever?

I got to watch Jake have his first real day like that.

We have amazing next door neighbors. It’s awesome. We have never really been friends with our neighbors before, cause apartment complexes are kinda private and awkward and nobody wants to know who the humans are next door who always vacuum at the worst times and make noise.

But ever since our neighbors moved in, we spend a ton of time outside letting our kids play together. It’s so much fun to watch them all.

Saturday was especially nostalgic for me. Mark started washing the car, and before we knew it all the kids wanted to be hosed down, and we were filling up the pool, and kids were stripping down to panties and jumping in. And Jake was just delighted to watch all the fun happening. He wasn’t quite into getting soaked, but got plenty dirty anyway. Mud pies were made, children had to be hosed down, it was just completely reminiscent of a perfect day in childhood.

Pretty sure I’m gonna end up writing a song about this. It was perfect.

Life is good. There are hard times and bad days, but childhood is this amazing thing, and I’m so grateful I get to relive those days vicariously through my son.

 

Strangers and Mommy Melt-downs.

So today was fantastic. Jake let me sleep in this morning, the sun was shining all day, I got a ton of cleaning done, and even got in a good workout. Plus me and Jake had good vibes like, all day. Lately that has been a little harder to come by, since he pushes my buttons to no end.

But today was good. I felt like a good mom.

Then as I was loading groceries into our car, a stranger pulled up next to me and started lecturing me about letting my son walk too far away from me in the parking lot. Said that it scared the bleep out of him, said that rear view mirrors don’t see little kids. Said I needed to keep him closer and be more careful.

So much for being a good mom.

And what sucked more than his critique was that honestly, he was right. Just like the guy who snapped at me at Costco because I had Jake in the main part of the shopping cart. And he happened to catch him standing up. And I was once again reminded of how little I actually know about parenting properly.

People have good intentions. I know that. But it’s hard when you’re doing the best you can and then someone who doesn’t even know you corrects you. And they’re right.

Needless to say, my mood changed. It shouldn’t have, but it did. I found myself getting really stressed out while trying to make dinner, snapping at Mark and Jake to just leave me alone and let me cook.

And out of nowhere, the waterworks started. I just started crying. I honestly don’t know why. I just broke down. Probably a build-up of negative feelings built up from that stranger in the parking lot and guilt for not being a better mom.

Mark came into the kitchen, found me crying, walked over and put his arms around me.

Then, Jake came in. He just walked over and put his little arms around as much of me as he could.

I looked at his little face, and he puckered his lips for a kiss. And then continued hugging me long after Mark had let go. And was incredibly loving and sweet to me the rest of the night.

I’m still emotional just thinking about that sweet boy and his compassion and love and it’s hard to believe that someone so young can be so intuitive and know just how to make me feel better. He is literally an angel and I love him more than I can hold in my heart.

Parenting is hard. We make mistakes. We make careless choices sometimes that risk our child’s safety or feelings or whatever.

But children are little blessings that are watched over by guardian angels to help catch our mistakes and protect them from harm. And thank goodness.

Parenting is a pretty thankless job. But tonight, in his own little way, he showed me that he loves me.

I’m not perfect. But that boy loves me.

Need a new favorite song?

I want to share some music with you. But not just my own.

I think I have pretty good taste in music. I grew up banging my head to Quiet Riot (mostly cause my dad is buds with their drummer). I grew up singing country Vince Gill songs (mostly cause my dad was buds with his guitarist). And cause my dad is buds with David Foster, I grew up listening to all the stuff he produced; I made my barbies dance along to Celine Dion’s epic long tributes, day dreamed listening to Enrique Iglesias, table danced to Whitney Houston, went through a Christian Boy band phase (Plus One), among many others. My dad was so involved in music as I was growing up, it was hard not to love it. From the cheesy jazz he had playing in the background at all times in our house to the full-production band concerts we went to every year while he played electric guitar for the army band, it was everywhere. And then my bff in high school was an aspiring opera singer, so I got a lot of that under my belt, too. And my husband basically just listens to Chris Brown. And Justin Bieber. So there’s that, too.

Basically, I’m pretty well rounded in my taste in music. And I want to share some of my favorite songs of all time with you guys.

These are songs that have inspired and impacted my life, been blasted in my car, been cried to, been played on repeat. These are songs that never get old to me. Some are popular. Some are kind of random. But I can almost guarantee you’ll be glad you heard them.

Music these days is a lot of trash. Everything is about sex, or big butts, or drugs, or just stupid pointless stuff.

But there is still music that has a message. Music that makes you think. Music that just feeds the soul.

So here’s a few songs. Enjoy! I’ll try and keep posting a new favorite every week, but these should get things started.

Matchbox 20- Unwell 

Most people know this song from a ways back. But I still play it frequently. The banjo in this song makes me so happy. As soon as this song comes on, it puts me in a better mood.

Athlete-Wires 

You’ve probably never heard this song before. It’s kind of random. My friend in high school used to look up songs from that show One Tree Hill, and she would pass on the songs to me. Some of the best music I’ve ever heard were the random songs she found. This is one of them.

I used to blast this in my ghetto mp3 player while at my local park, while swinging on swings, at night. It was amazing. The tempo of the swing would be just spot on with the song, and around 2:50 when the key changes, I’d get chills every time.

It’s a pretty sad song. I think it’s about someone attempting suicide and then being okay? Not totally sure. But the song isn’t creepy or depressing. It’s epic.

Savage Garden- Two Beds and a Coffee Machine 

Remember Savage Garden? They were all the rage in the 90’s. This song has always been a favorite. It’s sad, but hopeful. I love a good piano ballad. I’ve known a few people who struggled with their families, whether it be because of abuse or divorce or whatever it was, and this song always makes my heart hurt for them. But it’s a beautiful song, and worth hearing.

Enjoy! And try not to get too depressed. Some of the best songs out there are a little darker and sad, but they’re real. And that’s why I love them. I hope you do, too.

And in case those bummed you out, here. This video always brightens my mood.

Mistakes.

Jake is wonderful. Jake is perfect. Jake is also entering a whole new territory of behavior that blows my mind and makes me want to scream sometimes.

He hits, pushes, points his finger at people and yells at them (particularly smaller children who get scared and start crying at his display of authority), and officially knows the word “No!”

He also pets my head like a cat and mumbles sweet nothings while he strokes my hair. So like, I can’t be mad at him.

But there are times. And one of those times caught me off-guard the other night.

Usually after Mark gives Jake a bath, I claim my spot in the rocking chair, and toss pajamas that I picked out to Mark to get him dressed. But the other night, Mark claimed the rocking chair seat, and told me it was “my turn” to get him dressed. I used my usual “It’s my night off” excuse (that I always try and it never works). Nonetheless, I needed to get the kid in pj’s.

I called him to come to me.

“No.”

“Get your naked butt over here, silly boy!”

“No!” He then proceeds to run to the furthest corner of his room.

Finally, I get him, lay him down in front of me, and the kicking starts. And the flailing starts. And I only have seven arms, I can’t hold everything down. Every time I get a limb successfully clothed, it escapes in a burst of frenzy.

And then I snapped.

I don’t even understand what happened. I just got up, slammed his door, went to my room, slammed my door, and sat on my bed while i had an anxiety attack.

I felt like the worst mom. Who freaks out like that in front of their kid? What kind of mom can’t get their kid in pj’s?

A couple minutes later, I heard crying, and Mark left his room. He had put him in his crib to go to sleep.

We were both worn out and tired of his behavior. But I knew we couldn’t send him to bed like that.

I felt a surge of patience, and went into his room, picked him up, and held him.

I grabbed a book, and we pointed at pictures and turned pages together.

Then he slipped out of the room and started going downstairs.

Mark started laughing as he realized I had given in to Jake’s persistence.

And we all snuggled on the couch and watched Inside Out till like, 10pm.

I’m realizing parenting isn’t all about perfect boundaries and schedules and routines. It isn’t about being perfectly patient and composed. Our kids are going to see us face our weaknesses. Our kids are going to see us make mistakes. And sometimes they will deal with things that aren’t fair.

But I think if we can accept that, then parenthood is so much more fulfilling.

Sometimes, it’s okay to let your kid stay up late with you.

Sometimes, it’s okay to have snacks in bed.

Sometimes, it’s okay to lose our minds. As long as we recover and apologize and make up for it.

We really shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves. Parenting is hard! Adulting is hard!

So here’s to mistakes, I guess!