What’s going on?!

19 Jun

I introduced the idea of our dining room built-ins awhile ago so I figured it’s about time to check in with you all. If you know me on facebook, you know we went to Ikea a few months back and picked up some cabinetry. We hemmed and hawed on whether we wanted to build something, use stock cabinets from a home improvement store (like we did in our office), or give IKEA a try. There were a *few* hiccups assembling the ikea cabinets, but all in all, I think they look pretty darn good! 3 cheers for IKEA! The only thing left to do, at least in regards to the cabinets, is to pick up some hardware. What’s your favorite (affordable!) place to get hardware? We’ve looked at a few different places, but we’re (I’m?) feeling indecisive at the moment!

Here’s a progress shot – before the toe kick and trim pieces were put in:


A couple weeks back we bought some countertops (Corian Rain Cloud) from Home Depot and had them out to measure. We just received a call that it’s ready for installation and in just under 2 weeks it’ll be here ! I will definitely be back to share after photos once it’s done.

Now we just need to figure out what to do above the cabinets? I’m leaning towards open shelving, but it may be nice to just hang some pretty art or a mirror? I also think it would be fun to incorporate a chalkboard wall of some kind… here’s some of my inspiration:


What would you do???




29 May

How can it be that 75% of Wes’ first year is over? This has been the fastest 9 months of my life without question. I am amazed at how much he’s changed, too. From a tiny, helpless baby to a giant, silly little boy who finds ways to get into EVERYTHING! He is crawling everywhere – even up the stairs – without fear, jumping for joy when he gets excited, gabbing non-stop when he’s happy, and smashing any tower I build the minute he sees it going up!

It has been a busy (but fortunately HEALTHY) 3 months.

– Celebrated his first St. Patrick’s Day, March Madness (yes that is a ‘holiday’ around here), Easter, Mother’s Day

– Wore his first football helmet (6.5 months)

– Learned to give high fives (when he wants to haha) (7 months)

– Learned to drink out of a sippy cup (7 months)

– Switched to TWO naps (7 months)

– Tasted his first pickle – and liked it! (7.5 months)

– Took his first steps with his walker / cruising along the furniture (8 months) and then started walking UNASSISTED!! (8.9 months)

– Went to his first ‘bounce house’ party (8 months)

– Climbing up stairs (8.5 months)

– First hair cut (!!!) (8.5 months)

– Tooth count: SEVEN

He still loves standing and JUMPING! (Holding on to things of course) when he gets excited. He also loves watching Riley, trying to eat Riley’s food, sharing his food with Riley, and giving Riley kisses (or biting, I’m not exactly sure what he’s trying to accomplish haha). He will now push a car around while he crawls. He giggles if you drive one of his cars across his back or if you play with his toes. And, of course, he still blows raspberries all the time. If meh, or bah, count as words than he is a chatterbox.

He still does not like having his hands or face wiped clean, but gets very excited when he gets his water glass after he’s all cleaned up! He HATES to be left alone (even for just a few seconds) and starts putting up a stink the second he can’t see you. He loves dance parties and spinning round and round (until mom gets dizzy!)

His 9 month appointment isn’t until the first part of June. I’m going to guess he’s around 22 pounds and 32 inches. He recently switched to 12 month clothing but a few 9 month stuff still fits… but starting to look a little snug! He regularly eats four 8 ounce bottles a day (sometimes he doesn’t quite finish them and sometimes he asks for a couple extra ounces) – which is down from the close to 40 ounces a day he was eating a few months ago!! He “eats” 2-3 meals a day and has tried a variety of foods. He definitely likes the sweet stuff (fruit) but still chomps on a variety of veggies, too.

Now for the fun part – pictures!

Here’s his weekly photos (week 27 – 39):

The monthly chalkboard/Dino photos:

A collection of favorites:

Our First

14 May

For five years, I spent Mother’s Day wondering how much longer I would have to wait before my sweet child entered my life, wondering what I did wrong to be cursed with infertility, wondering if this was Mother Nature’s way of declaring me an unfit mother. Needless to say, the last few years have been incredibly difficult.

Finally (FINALLY!!!), I can stop wondering. Every day for the last 262 days,  I have felt my heart swell with so much love. Love to see my son (it still feels surreal to call him that!) smile the sweetest smile, laugh with his mouth wide open, blow the wettest raspberries. Love to see my husband become DAD – to see the two of them interacting is literally my favorite thing. Love to finally be at the happy ending of the longest, hardest journey I hope to ever go through.

I feel incredibly fortunate to be a #boymom, to be THIS boy’s mom.

To my son –

You made me a momma. My heart healed the instant you entered it. Being your mom is an enormous privilege and my most favorite adventure.

Seeing the magic and joy in your eyes as you start to explore the world around you makes my heart so happy. I have so many hopes for you – I hope you grow to be kind and compassionate, honest and loving, funny and smart. I hope you learn how to be a team player, to be generous, to value hard work, to appreciate the little things in life. Most of all, I hope you always know how honored I am to have you to love.

I am so grateful to B (your other mom) for keeping you safe the first 9 months of your existence and for choosing me to be your mom. She is an incredibly strong, wonderful woman who loves you with all her heart. She loved you so much, that she gave a part of her heart to me. I will never be able to thank her enough for making my heart whole.

I love you, my sweet boy. You are my favorite piece to every day. 

– Your momma


NIAW 2017

24 Apr

Yesterday was the start to National Infertility Awareness Week. You heard all about our struggles with infertility last year – both the long and short version to the story. Most of you know that despite trying just about everything western medicine has to offer AND dabbling in traditional Chinese medicine, we still failed to do what our bodies are made for – make and birth a baby.

It’s astonishing to me that 1 in 8 couples battle infertility. It is still a medical condition that doesn’t get the attention it deserves and it is still a topic that people shy away from talking about. I used to be one of those people that danced around the answer to the question “so, when are you going to have kids?” … BUT, as you all know, I’m pretty open about it now! Opening up about everything was pretty scary, but I am so glad I did. In fact, I wish I would have opened up sooner. In the midst of it all, infertility is really all consuming – mentally, physically, emotionally, financially. In fact, there is research to suggest that a diagnosis is as stressful as a diagnosis of cancer! Why wouldn’t we want the support of our friends and family?!

Many people might wonder how I feel now that Wes is here. Wes is amazing, he is the happiest, most wonderful part of my day, but he does not erase all that I went through to get to where I am. He wows me every day, he fills my heart with so much joy, he is perfect and I am incredibly lucky to be his mama. I, however, am still infertile. I still wonder about my baby that would be 2+ years old. What would my life be like? I know I wouldn’t have Wes if I had that baby, and that is really hard to think about. I can’t imagine my life without him in it. Unfortunately, adoption does not make everything disappear. Adoption is not a cure for infertility. But adoption DID make me a mama. One lucky mama at that. And, I would not be the mom I am today without everything that happened before he became a part of my life.

This year’s NIAW theme is Listen Up! 1 in 8 of us has a story to share, and they will all be a little different. There’s something to be learned in each of them. What I’d like you to hear is that adoption does not make it all go away. Adoption has filled an enormous hole in my heart, there is no denying that. But I’ve always envisioned more than 1 child in my family, so I’m still left wondering a bunch of what ifs, how’s, and when’s.

Playroom Plans

18 Apr

The toys are piling up and the crawling has begun! Wesley is in need of his own dedicated space on the main floor. We decided that our large entryway that is underused would be a great place to corral the toys! Here’s the space we were starting with:

Pinterest has been great to come up with ideas for the kind of storage we will need to keep this space organized. We have no intention to have a TON of toys (easier said than done as I am constantly stopping myself from buying something new for me Wes to play with, haha), we do want to make sure that there’s plenty of room for everything – art supplies, puzzles, board games, costumes/dress-up clothes, etc.

Here are a few pics of the inspiration!



Source: thesunnysideupblog.com

Source: Creatingsomecreativity.com

Several weekends ago now we cleaned out the space and bought some floor tiles. We decided to use the current white bench as the base for some cabinet storage (like you see in photo 1and 2 above). Bench seating with comfy pillows and a cozy blanket will be nice for reading books so we got a smaller storage bench that would fit on a shorter wall.

We went to ikea for our dining room cabinets the other week and picked up a few things for the playroom as well. We got some great plastic storage bins to help keep toys organized. We also (after some mis-measurements on my part) brought home a closet system to serve two purposes – half for hanging coats/storing outerwear and half for bigger toy storage (think puzzles, board games, art supples, etc).

Since Wes has started moving, he likes to use the curtains as a Kleenex! Ick! So I’ve been looping the ends over the curtain rod to keep them out of reach until we find a suitable replacement. I think we will want some wood blinds instead of curtains so I’m on the hunt for a good deal.

So now that you know the plans, let’s talk game plan. But first let’s do some updated photos with the changes we’ve already made.

As you can see, Wes loves playing with boxes – cheapest toy ever! Haha.

So, what’s left to do?

  • Install closet system
  • Build cabinet storage
  • Hang some art
  • Replace window treatments
  • Play!

This will be slow going but hopefully it will be a super fun room to spend time in when we’re done! But first we must finish the dining room! Details on that hopefully coming soon 🙂

What are your tips for toy storage and keeping the clutter down?



1 Mar

1 year ago (well technically it was February 29… so close enough!) we received the call that would change our lives. We were finally going to be parents! And now we have a 6 month old little boy! It is incredibly amazing to think that Wesley has been a part of our lives for 6 months now!

The last 3 months have been so fun! Wes has accomplished a lot… although I didn’t keep as detailed notes on his life like Q1!

– Survived pink eye (three times!)

– Celebrated his first Christmas!

– Celebrated his first NYE (asleep before 6:30 pm!)

– First ED visit: Croup

– First two teeth (21 weeks)

– First food: Oatmeal! (around 5 months) He’s now tried: peas, carrots, sweet potatoes (his favorite!!), apples, bananas, pears, yogurt, prunes, avocado

– Sitting by himself! (around 5 months)

– Survived “sleep training” and gave up his pacifier at night (YAY!!)

– First Badger basketball game (23 weeks)

– Started swimming lessons (23 weeks)

– Celebrated first Valentine’s Day

– Started ‘army crawling’ with a purpose! (24.5 weeks)

He LOVES the water, standing, and knocking down towers! He also really enjoys chatting with his ‘mirror friend’ (so much so that I’m a bit jealous of how excited he gets when he sees his ‘friend’ haha).

He does not like getting his face wiped clean at all. And we’ve had to do it A LOT between his runny nose and starting solids. He much prefers to use ME as his napkin/Kleenex!

His 6 month appointment isn’t until March, so no updated stats. I am guessing he’s somewhere between 18-19 pounds (he was 17 pounds at the beginning of January) and near 29 inches. He’s a big boy, that much I know. We will be switching him to his convertible car seat soon, but trying to get through as much of winter as possible!

Here’s Wesley’s weekly photos from Q2!



Here’s the monthly Dino/chalkboard photos.

Continue reading

New Year, New List

20 Feb

Back in December 2015 (apparently I was more on top of things back then…), I shared our 2016 to do list. Now that we’re 2 months deep into 2017, I thought it was a good idea to see where we stand and outline some goals for this year.

Here is where we started in 2016:

  • Finish the baseboards (this includes the master bedroom/closet, and we can now add 2 of the 3 bathrooms this year!!)
  • Update the main floor powder room (Re-tile, Wainscoting of some kind, New vanity)
  • Update the upstairs bathroom (Re-tile, New vanity)
  • Insulate the garage
  • Landscape
  • Figure out art in the living room/rest of the house
  • Nursery

Hmm… We really did not make the progress we had anticipated! We can finally cross off the baseboards in the master bedroom and 1 bathroom though so hooray for getting one step closer to completely finishing this! We now just have to finish the trim in our master closet, master bathroom, and upstairs guest bathroom. Woohoo for that list getting shorter. It’s only been a work in progress since 2010. Maybe by 2020 it will no longer make the annual ‘to do’ list?!

As you all know, the biggest accomplishment (aside from raising a tiny human!!!!) was completing our main floor bathroom remodel. Just like everything else it took a lot longer than we had anticipated but we are loving the finished project! We are working on putting the finishing touches together so I’ll be sure to share some final photos once the pictures are hung!

The upstairs bathroom is officially on hold while we work on the dining room storage situation. I was hoping to have an update on our dining room progress but I don’t. So stay tuned because it will hopefully be coming soon!

Zero progress has been made on the garage and no changes have been made to the landscape. Although the city did put in some new sidewalks and as a result had to plant some new grass, so maybe that counts? Haha!

We have finally got some art on the walls in the living room! On a side note, we got a new entertainment center – something with closed storage to keep little hands out 🙂 So with the bookshelves gone we now have an open corner to figure out in 2017, too. We have been going back and forth with leaving it open vs filling the empty space. For now we are just going to leave it until we get inspired.


(I just took this photo so, you can even see Wesley’s art projects on display!)


Rile’s dog bed has taken up the empty space for now

The nursery has become one of my favorite rooms in the house! It is still a work in progress – mostly in that it could use some art/decorations on the wall, but I love hanging out with Wes in there. My goal for 2017 is to put the finishing touches on this room. As a reminder, here’s what it looked like when you last saw it. It already looks quite a bit different now 🙂

So it looks like we could cross off a few things… but not many!

  • Finish the baseboards (this includes the master bedroom/closet, and we can now add 21 of the 3 bathrooms this year!!)
  • Update the main floor powder room (Re-tile, Wainscoting of some kind, New vanity)
  • Update the upstairs bathroom (Re-tile, New vanity)
  • Insulate the garage
  • Landscape
  • Figure out art in the living room / rest of the house
  • Nursery

Time to hammer out the details for 2017!

If I’m being realistic, we will not do anything related to the remaining rooms needing baseboards (master closet, master bathroom, upstairs guest bathroom) so I won’t even bother pretending by putting in on in 2017. Stay tuned for 2018 though, I really would like to have it off the list by 2020! Haha.

That means upstairs bathroom update won’t likely happen in 2017 either. That’s another stay tuned for 2018 item.

We may try to tackle some landscaping on the side of our house this summer so I’ll leave it on the list this year. Same with the garage – we may work on insulating it SLOWLY. These items will depend on how the progress on the rest of the to do list.

And as I mentioned previously, one of my goals this year is to put the finishing touches on Wesley’s nursery. I hope to tackle that the first few months of 2017 (so REALLY soon, haha) so hopefully I have an update on that for you guys before summer!

The BIG project of the year, as you all already know, will be the built-ins in the dining room. We are still in the researching mode on the best design/sources for everything. Once we have that figured out I’ll have more info to share.

Another (surprise!) project we are working on is a playroom on our main floor. We don’t have a basement suitable for living (truer words have not been spoken!) so we need to coexist with baby/kid toys. Our living room isn’t big enough for both, however, we have a pretty large entryway at the front of the house (connected to the living room) that up until now is rarely used. In the last month or two, we’ve been storing most of Wes’ toys and spending a lot of time playing in there. We are working to make it a bit more functional and will share the progress and ‘game plan’ with you all soon. Here’s what it looked like before Wes’ toys moved in.

Time to make it bullet-list official.

2017 To Do List:

  • Landscape (maybe)
  • Insulate the garage (maybe)
  • Nursery
  • Dining Room built-ins
  • Playroom

That looks manageable! 10 months and counting…

Next up: Y2:Q2 (!!!!! How is my sweet boy almost 1/2 a year old already?!?!?!)