My Little Family of Four

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

As you can probably tell from the blog, we don't exactly have a lot of pictures of the four of us together. Scratch that. There is only one picture that I know of, from Jackson's first Birthday in March. DOH! The grandparents and great grandparents have been nicely pleading for us to send updated pictures for months now and finally, we can send some decent ones. When the kids went back to school this fall, they started just in time for fall pictures, so that bought me some more time with the grandparetns, but I was still dreaming about pictures of us as a family of four. I have been wanting professional pictures of my little family of four since the day The Squishy was born.

Prior to the babies coming into our lives (you know, back when I had a lot more time on my hands) I had actually started a wedding planning business with one of my coworkers. We did mostly day-of-coordinating but we were a full blown legit LLC. Little did we know, business was going to boom like it did and we ended up having to get stop because neither of us got rid of our regular day job (engineers) and it was too much to handle with a regular 45 - 50 hour work week before any of the wedding planning work started. However, it was one of the most fun and exciting things that I have ever done and I still keep in touch with some of the brides and vendors that I worked with. I still wonder sometimes if anything happened to my day job, if I would try that again.

Any who...where was I going with this? Oh yeah. Pictures...I digress. Since my wedding coordinating days, I have kept in touch with my all time favorite photographer, Jen Lowe of JLowe Photos. Not only does she take amazing pictures, but she is an absolute blast to work with. It's like getting back together with an old friend every time we see her. She is a mom herself, which makes her a dream to have around when trying to get pictures of the monsters babies. So, I couldn't dream of going anywhere else when it came to wanting pictures of my little family of four.

So without further ado, here is a snip-it of our little recent family photo shoot. Emma Kathryn at 3.5 years old and Jackson The Squishy Douglas at 20 months old. Mommy and Daddy are 29 years old, for the fourth year in a row. I know! Weird huh?

Disclaimer: We found out the next day that The Squishy had walking pneumonia yet again ::: head desk ::: and it was pretty cold and damp out that day so that explains the lack of smiles from him, Mommy's frizzy hair and Daddy trying to keep his hands in his sleeves.

Here Goes Nothing! (New Playroom Ideas)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Now that I am off my soapbox about the trouble sometimes with Facebook, Pinterest, etc, on to some more fun, slightly hypocritical stuff! Despite my issues with looking on the Internet for home inspiration, I'm still totally addicted and probably always will be. There is so much that I would love to do to our home, I had to take a step back and pick one room to start with, despite the fact that Emma's room and our master bathroom still aren't finished. Isn't that the best time to start a new project?!

I decided to tackle the playroom as our next home project. I picked the playroom because A) it's for the babies and they are amazing and deserve something special and a change B) it's on our main floor with an open doorway into our hallway and family room so it would be a space that we are always in and C) it's a big fat mess right now and it drives me crazy.

With all the inspiration out there, I started to feel quite overwhelmed, so I started to copy and paste some pictures into a "design board". And by "design board", I really just mean a PowerPoint slide so I wouldn't forget all the stuff I was thinking about and would stop changing my mind a thousand times. I will also be the first person to tell you that I STINK at decorating. Especially when it comes to pulling pieces from multiple places and trying to figure out if they work "together" or not. So, this was my attempt at trying to figure it out on paper, before I made a big disaster of the playroom in real life.

So here's what I came up with so far (and surprisingly, got the blessing from the hubby too)!

It's a mixture of stuff that we already have, stuff we have but need to paint and new stuff. Let's start at the top left....

Lighting: I'm a little wishy-washy on the green lamp but am trying to fight my strong desire to have everything neutral and trying to remember that this is a playroom, and it should be fun. But, this baby is from Target and is pretty cheap so why not. There isn't any overhead lighting in the room, so we definitely need to add some lights probably in a couple of places.

Wall Art (Top Middle): This is one area that I always fail at. I have no idea what you put on the walls of a playroom! A while back, I made a couple of signs in PowerPoint (are you sensing a theme here), had them printed on card stock, along with a few of our very old family pictures. The pictures were a mix of ones that we had taken when Emma turned one, and some that I took. Here is look at what is on the walls now. I'm going to stick with the green, blue and orange theme, but will probably have these reprinted in a colors that will better match. Directly below the pictures is a line up of shelves, but we will get to that in a minute....

The other side of the room has this guy hanging. Yup, not exactly playroom material. The plan is to maybe spray paint the frame and come up with something to have printed for the inside.

Magnetic Chalkboards (Top Right): This is one of those good ideas that might ever not actually happen but why not include anyway kind of things. Again, blame my love/hate relationship with the Internet. The idea is to make some cheap magnetic chalkboards using some metal backing and spray chalkboard paint. Just need to find some old frames to use. Ideally I'd like to have two. Why? Because I have two toddlers that fight over who gets to breath what air. So if there are two and separate from each other, I will only have to worry about them fighting when Jack runs over and erases the picture on Emma's board. ::: head desk :::

Ikea Expedit Bookcase Turned into Bench (Middle Left): I had originally planned on making the kids a little special reading center with the Pottery Barn Kids Anywhere Chairs that I have been stalking since the day I was pregnant with Emma, but decided to go the more economical route since we are redoing the whole room. The plan is to buy an Expedit Bookcase from Ikea, and similar to our hallway, add a cushion and some pillows to the top for a little reading bench! This would go on the opposite wall of the pictures shown above, which is a shorter wall that has the opening to our foyer. The playroom needs storage like I need a glass of wine at night, especially as the kids get older and the toys get smaller. For a little touch of texture, I'd like to get some baskets woven baskets. If that's even the right term, I really have no idea. :)

Wall Lined with Billy Bookcase (Middle): We already have three of these small bookcases which hold a good amount of toys but the wall can fit at least one more. I would love to get one more, paint them all white (we have the black/brown now) and add even more storage.

New Rug (Bottom Left): I have been stalking this rug on Overstock for probably months now and finally decided to pull the trigger when it was on sale and free shipping. It's in the playroom now and helps to bring in some fun patterns, although looks a bit out of place since we haven't really started the updating (and it doesn't really go with the current paint color).

Fabric Storage Bins (Bottom Middle): Another target find and we already have four each of the blue and green, just need to try to find some orange!

Wall Decals (Bottom Right): I haven't yet figured out where these would go, but I have loved the idea of tree wall decals in any room for a long time. This part may be optional if we run out of spots to put them, but I threw them in the picture just in case.

Paint (Background): If you couldn't tell, I changed the background of the picture to a light gray because I'd love to repaint. The color scheme doesn't really go with the tan ~ish color that we have in there now, so why not a quick change!

That's about as far as I have gotten. Now I just need to figure out where to start. Since we already have the rug and navy fabric bins (that match relatively well), and we just had some family pictures taken, I think a quick and easy update would be to replace the prints in the frames now. Since I want to repaint, those might move, but I can at least update the pictures until we get to that point. I might just try to tackle some of the smaller easier project until I get up enough nerve to clean out the playroom and repaint that bad boy. It's not the paint that scares me, its the fact that all the toys need to be moved and placed anywhere we can stash them in the house. Ack! As much as I would love to run out and pick up the new bookcases from Ikea, probably need to paint first of that's just one more thing to have to move out of the room!

Don't worry, I'll be sure to post pictures, and real life ones at that, of the before, during and after progress. You know, if I actaully make any progress. :)
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