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Monday, February 27, 2012

G's Room Make Over

This is post is LONG overdue as this mini makeover took place several months back. When we found out we were expecting McKenna we played room switcheroo. What was Gabrielle's bedroom became the nursery and what was previously our guest bedroom/my craft area became Gabrielle's room. It is a huge bedroom - what some may call a 2nd master with a full en suite bathroom. When we made the room swap we did little other than move Gabi's furniture and belonging into the space. We left the walls the builder beige color they were, hung a few of her decorative pieces and called it done. The walls screamed for a fresh coat of paint and much to our surprise Gabrielle picked out this purple ... not what I would have guessed nor picked, but we went with it.
We had wanted a homework station for G the past year or so but just never pulled the trigger on it. Then one day I stumbled upon this old antique desk and chair at a local antique store. Handy hubs sanded it and gave it several coats of Krylon's Watermelon paint. I also picked up the matching candle sconce & the circle turquoise {pie plate} frame at the antique store.
We changed out the original hardware and bam, instant cuteness! The lamp dates back to Gabrielle's nursery, the funky frame was a gift from my niece & I crafted the pencil holder out of an old cardboard tube, some craft paper & pom pom trim. The storage tray is from the Target dollar spot.
To the left of the desk is her "play" & reading area. The doll house that you are getting a peek of is one of thee best garage sale purchases that has ever entered our home. We have had it for years now and I can honestly say it gets played with multiple times throughout the week. To my surprise it has held up beautifully!
See that hallway there on the left? The wall directly behind the frames houses the closet and the bathroom is at the end of the hall. Awkward? Yes, a little.
I wanted to do something with the long wall opposite the closet. What better place to display some of Gabrielle's masterpieces! And that hot mess on the right is where she hangs her plethora of purses, scarves, hats, bathrobe, super G cape, etc.  Praise the Lord there was a stud located there.
This is the view from the foot of the bed. We have a terrific queen sized bed just taking up space in our basement, but sister is perfectly happy in her comfy twin bed. She is our cuddle bug so I think she would feel somewhat "lost" in a bigger bed.
And opposite the bed is her dresser.
Gabi is loving the finished room. I'm thrilled that it all came together in just a couple of days time thanks to a dedicated Daddy!

Monday, February 13, 2012

What's in a Name?

I was cleaning out a drawer today and came across a post it note with your potential names scribbled all over it. I don't recall ever keeping similar records for Gabrielle or Dawson so before stashing it in the pit I call my craft area or worse yet tossing it, I wanted to take a couple of minutes and record the names that we considered for you.

Emersyn/Emmerson - Mommy was pretty dead set on this name. I liked Emme for short which I thought went well with Gabrielle's nickname, Gabi. Daddy never was a fan thinking it was more of a masculine name. I really thought I could convince him to fall in love with it, but alas he never did.
Gianna - this name placed heavily at the top of the list. We liked Gia for short.
Molly - this name was on our short list when naming Gabrielle as well. She was born and more than a day old before we settled on Gabrielle Annique over Molly Christine. I have always loved the name Molly!
Annalise - a French combination of Anna & Elise, both classic beautiful names
Luca Bella - Luca is possibly a female version of the name Luke and Bella is an old French expression meaning beautiful

Kate - has and will most likely always be one of both Daddy & Mommy's favorite names
Grace - Mommy's maternal great grandmother's 1st name
Lily - Mommy's maternal grandmother's given name was Lillian Muriel however she always went by Muriel or Mur for short. I have always loved the name Lily and had even asked Daddy about using a combination of both my grandmother's names Lily Grace.
Christine - your Mema's middle name and Mommy's 1st name
Claire - again just another beautiful name I like. Your big sis was "named" Emma Claire at the time of my baby shower before we completely nixed it from the list :)

We narrowed our favorites down to Gianna Grace, Harper Kate & Molly Christine before your Daddy got the itch from out of no man's land to name you McKenna. When Daddy chose the name McKenna for you we immediately knew we wanted to be able to call you MJ, so began the hunt for a middle name. I liked Jane from the start, Daddy liked Jewell (Y.U.C.K!). We both liked Journey so-so and loved Jentry but we quickly decided a single syllable name flowed the best with McKenna so you are our sweet, sweet McKenna Jane.

McKenna - the literal English interpretation is Son of Kenneth
Jane - God is Gracious
God showed his favor on us when he added you to our family. You truly are such a ray of sunshine in our every day! Each of us gets a little lost in love with the little person you are. You make us smile, double over in laughter and make each of us realize our family wasn't complete before you became a part of it. We love YOU baby girl!!!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

New Year's "To Do List"

I'm not one to make resolutions. Why? Because I would most likely fail very early on. So this year rather than make a resolution and set myself up for impending failure I decided to set several goals. When I look at my list it seems like a daunting set of tasks but I'm going to view them as just another to do list because who doesn't love making lists and having the satisfaction of checking items off once done?
My goals are to:
  • Revamp our utility room
    It is a pass through from the garage to the kitchen. It is narrow and not nearly large enough for what purposes we use it for; shredding of documents; housing the recycling; overstock storage; coat & accessory storage. We (because hubs is the fix it man around these parts) have a pretty good start on the mini makeover, but I am wanting to remove an existing cabinet, paint & install vertical floating shelves to house odd & end essentials.
  • Make more time for reading
    This one is pretty cut and dry
  • Familiarize myself with my camera and become a more seasoned "photographer"
    I'm sick and tired of hearing myself complain about not getting good quality photos. It's not the camera, it's the individual operating it, or in other words ME. Thanks to some great Internet resources and online classes I am in the very early stages of moving forward in achieving this goal.
  • Stream line and organize our families recipes
    My current method isn't working for me. I have recipes stored with links in a word document, typed out and filed in an e-mail folder, pinned on Pinterest, thrown haphazardly in a cabinet along side the many cookbooks we own and don't frequent. 
And the most daunting goal of them all. One which will be a true miracle in and of itself if and when it does indeed get checked off my to do list  completed is .....
  • To organize photos
    Including but not limited to storage (on the hard drive, external hard drive, burned to CD/DVD, printed & not scrapped or in an album, etc.), completed layouts that are not in their respective albums, uploading and printing photos. The.list.goes.on.and.on.and.on. I'm overwhelmed just giving it thought.
My hope is that at the end of this year I can look back and say that I completed each of these tasks or at the very list 3 of the 4. Can you guess which one may be forgone? Ha. Any and all accountability in keeping with achieving these goals is welcomed and appreciated.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


This little beauty had her annual well child visit yesterday.
Height 47 inches (what we believe her to be)
47.5 inches (what the nurse measured her as being)
Weight 50 lbs
GG, if you look real close at this picture you can see McKenna in the background cruising with her walker you got her for Christmas
We couldn't ask for a more spirited child. 
I am SO VERY thankful for the unseasonably warm weather we have been experiencing.  We have all been spending our afternoons outside after school and naps. It has given me the perfect chance to practice with the camera. The kiddos and their neighbor friends have been willing models in getting their pictures taken.

Little Man starts PreSchool

The Dawsonator, Dawson the Destroyer, D, Little Man, Boo aka Dawson Matthew started a preschool program Monday January 23rd. He is attending Heartland Early Childhood Center Monday - Thursday mornings from 8:25 - 11:25am. He was asked to participate as a peer model at the beginning of the school year but we didn't proceed for several reasons. Mainly that I was selfish and wanted him to be in our neighborhood elementary program, the monthly cost/tuition wasn't within our "budget", and truth be told I wasn't too sure I was ready to let go of him four mornings a week. So ... when it came around to enrollment for the 2012 - 2013 school year the administrative secretary revisited the opportunity with us as his spot remained unfilled. Call it a change of heart, but we couldn't be happier having him there. Like most "proud" parents we walked him to his classroom to get him acclimated with camera in tow and the little toot would have nothing to do with it. He was unsure he wanted to be there (which his teacher later informed us lasted all of 45 seconds) so Ms. Christie thought it best if we leave and she proceed to walk him through the class room and make introductions, etc. She was very sweet to snap this picture of his 1st day and e-mail it to us.
Chapped lips - check
Terrible hair cut - check
Cutest kid in the class - check
OK, so maybe that last one is a little biased
His 2nd day of school he woke up with a cough. I didn't give it much notice until it progressed throughout the day and by bedtime the poor kid was barking like a seal. He put in a miserable night Tuesday night so we kept him home from school Wednesday and paid the pediatrician a visit. Diagnosis: croup. Treatment remedy: Metylpredinsolone. The course of treatment was only three days so come Friday morning when he took his last dose he assumed he would head straight out the door to school. I think he likes it (school that is, not being sick)! I had to explain that he had three home days before returning to class on the following Monday.
Monday the 30th was his 1st day riding the school bus. This is BIG stuff in our house. There was a lot of excitement on Dawson's part and a bit of jealousy on big sister's part. His bus driver, Mrs. Maddie, is just the sweetest. She can't get over D's big smile each morning as he gets on the bus.
I pick him up daily and love hearing about his morning. I miss him, but baby girl misses him all the more.
Class size 12 students
Teacher - Christie Anderson + 2 full time support para educators

Valentine Decor

Valentine's Day is quickly approaching in a little less than two weeks. I am not a big decorator when it comes to the holidays but the kids love the extra splash of color and element of fun the decor adds to the house so I wanted to do a little something in the sake of the day in which we celebrate LOVE. I also wanted to do it on a dime so this is what I came up with on the cheap.
  • Pinwheels crafted out of Target dollar spot paper attached to straws
  • I repurposed an egg carton to make the heart which I attached to plain white cardstock and threw into a 12 x 12 frame which I had on hand
  • Chipboard letters that I picked up for a buck (for all 4 letters) covered in designer paper which I had on hand
  •  The gold sequined hearts as well as the two I attached to the LOVE banner I picked up at the thrift store for $1.49
  •  The hand sewn paint chip hearts are from Gabrielle's 7th birthday party
  •  The only incidental expense was the red tool which I picked up at JoAnn's for $2.99. I made that stop on a whim and for the shame I didn't have a coupon on hand nor was their one available on their website so I paid full price. Ack!
  • The only other V day decor items not pictured are a red feather heart wreath which is hanging on the front door which I picked up at a garage sale for $1 & a cute clip art that was a free online printable that I also put into an 8 1/2 x 11 frame that I dug up from storage
So for around $7.50 + taxes I added a little LOVE to our home!
Thank you Pinterest for the egg carton & paint chip inspo.