October 30, 2013

Wednesday Randoms

Feels a little like I've been scarce online lately. Normally, I would stress out about not getting a blog post up everyday and not working on my shop but right now it feels right not worrying about it.


It's raining today which means work on the house has probably come to a screeching halt. I'm ready to get the house in the dry so we don't have to worry anymore about rain delays. We're almost there. I'm thinking another week, or two…depending on the weather.

As a result of my breakdown last week, I started us on a new schedule/routine this week. It requires me getting up at 6am which I'm not very excited about but it's the only time I can get anything done (like showering) lately. I get the girls up at 8am so that gives me two hours to get some stuff done. Then I have a couple more hours to work on stuff at nap time. I plan to do a full post on this in about a week or so.

I've been going to a bible study on Tuesday mornings. It's for mom's with children at home. I'm really enjoying connecting not only with mom's with children around the same age but just some of the women my age. We haven't been going consistently (for various reasons like sick kids, tornados…..) so it's been hard to connect with anybody.

The girls got haircuts last week. It's Tillie's 3rd haircut and Tensley's 2nd (she was asleep last time we were at the salon). I can't believe I have children with so much hair (seeing as I don't have much at all….it's very, very thin)!

Tensley Haircut Tillie Haircut

I hope everyone is having a good week!

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October 28, 2013

Rebuild Update: Week 10-Roof Raising

I love that I've been having updates to share each week!

Mills Rebuild

Whew! We had a non-stop weekend so I'm posting this update a couple days late.

Remember last week when I shared that the walls were going up? Well they've made significant progress this week! These guys have been working from sun up to sun down 7 days a week!

This week they've finished the interior walls, framed in the rooms above the garage, put up the Zipboard on the exterior and started working on the roof!

Week 10-Front Porch
Week 10 Roof Patio No 2
Week 10 Roof-Back patio
Week 10 Roof East Side
Week 10 Roof

It's a ways off before they put up the brick but it was delivered last week! The color is called Cimarron and is a dark brown brick. I hope the stone we picked out compliments it nicely.

Cimarron Brick

We made our "final" granite selections this weekend. That was fun…not really. I didn't get exactly what I wanted but I'm pretty happy with our choices.

Week 10-Granite Alaska White Week 10-Granite Venetian Gold

The granite selections we made are Black Pearl (not pictured), Alaska White and Venetian Gold.

I hope it doesn't rain as much as they say it's going to this week. At one point they were talking snow but with forecasted temps in the 60's & 70's I'm not sure how that's going to happen. Hoping they can at least get the roof done before the rain starts.

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October 25, 2013

Mom Life: Breakdowns bring about change

If you missed Part One of Mom Life, you can catch up here.

Not long after I dozed off, I woke up to the sounds of Hubs coming in from work. I had texted him earlier asking him to pick up the carpet shampooer from storage. When he asked why I gave him a brief synopsis of what had happened.

He walked into the room and I told him the girls needed a reprieve. He set a fresh caramel macchiato down on my night stand, walked out of the room and shut the door. I am so thankful not only for a God that gives me grace but for a husband that does too.

I stayed in bed a little longer. Sipped on my caramel macchiato and replayed the events of the day. I did not like the way I acted. I have had little meltdowns in the past but I'd just give myself a time out and then I'd be ok. But this time? This was my worst moment since becoming a mom. I needed to find a solution. A way to handle the girls and control my own behavior.

It wasn't long after hearing them playing through the monitor that I calmed down. You see, even though I can get pretty angry and frustrated with them, I still want to hug and kiss their little cheeks. They bring me much more joy than frustration.

We are in the midst of change. A big change. And I am not handling this change very well….or at least not the process of change.

The answer to my problem starts with me…the mom.

I'm not sure the girls are aware that where we are living now is only temporary. We take them with us when we go out to the house but do they realize that that is our home? Probably not. But you know what? It doesn't matter. All they need to know is that they have a kind and loving mom (and dad) that would do anything for them regardless of our circumstances. I've known this in my heart from the moment we were displaced, but it doesn't make this process any easier.

We have continued to have rough days this week. Parenting is a process so this change isn't going to happen overnight. However, I have been able to make some observations about my challenging little 2 year olds and have come up with a plan to hopefully keep our meltdowns at bay.

To be continued………

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October 24, 2013

Mom Life: The Day I Totally Lost It

I'm writing this post because I want all moms to know that there are trials in parenting…some worse than others, and I want to let you know, and hopefully confirm that we are not alone when days like this happen.


So as I mentioned last week, it was a trying week with the girls not sleeping well and discovering my thyroid levels were completely off. Just as I thought we were back to "normal", Hubs left on Friday for his annual Fall fishing trip. I kept us girls busy so we wouldn't drive each other crazy but we were tired by the end of the weekend.

I thought with Hubs being back, our week would get better and maybe be a little less chaotic. Boy was I wrong.

*The names in parts of this story have been withheld to protect the reputation of my girls. However, if you are a close friend or family, you know who I'm talking about. :)

Monday turned out to be a pretty awful day for me. It's been getting pretty cold here and the girls have outgrown all of their coats & jackets so I loaded us up Monday morning to go to the outlet mall. We weren't there long before I decided it wasn't worth it. Both girls were whining and fighting and I just gave in and left.

On the way home I decided to drive by the house to see what progress had been made. Tensley had fallen asleep and Tillie was close to falling asleep so I decided to go through Starbucks drive-thru. Maybe, just maybe Tillie would fall asleep and I could actually get out of the car and look around when I got to the house.

When we finally got home (which was after our typical nap time), I was so ready to take a nap (I didn't get much sleep over the weekend). Tensley didn't sleep long so I figured I could put them in bed with some books and take a little power nap myself. I changed one of the girls and when I came out of their room to get the other one, I spotted her standing on a step stool at the bar with my full cup of hot caramel macchiato in hand.

Just a little background info on one of my littles…..She is a thrower. When she gets in trouble for having something she's not supposed to have, she has a tendency to throw it down.

When I noticed her holding the hot cup of coffee, I slowly made my way toward her and was all nonchalant saying, "Hey, sissy! What do you have……" and before I could get that sentence out of my mouth I see the cup fly out of her hands. The stopper flew out of the lid and I'm not sure if the lid came off in mid air or if it came off when it hit the ground. All I know is that there was an entire cup of coffee soaking the living room floor.

I was SO. MAD. I told both girls to stay where they were and ran into the kitchen to grab the paper towels. As I was sopping up the spilled coffee I just started crying. Apparently, the past week (and my whacked out thyroid) had taken a toll on me. All I could think was that age 2 was going to be the end of me. I would not survive.

I continued to attempt to clean up the coffee and at one point one of the girls took off with the paper towels. I got them back from her and then she raised her arm and hit me as hard as she could on my back. When I told her "no, we didn't hit", she then proceeded to hit me in the face. At that point I was DONE. Both girls were put in their cribs, told to go night night and then I walked out and shut the door.

This is when I totally lost it. I'm talking full on ugly crying. Sobbing actually. I called my mom to talk me down and it helped a little but I was still just so angry. I felt like I had lost all "control" when it came to my girls. I started to question my abilities as a parent…as a mom. I finished cleaning up and went to bed and prayed until I dozed off.


Tomorrow I'll post what happened next…..

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October 19, 2013

Rebuild Update: The walls are going up!

New Mills Rebuild Logo

This has been an exciting week with the house!

Let's start with a new front elevation (See above). I am very sad to say that my stone wainscot is going away. :( It just wasn't going to work if I wanted the shutters. We will still have stone but it will just be on the gables and the posts on the front porch. Here is the before. Let's take a moment to just morn the loss of my wainscot.Mills Rebuild Logo

At the beginning of the week, we had a lot of rain that set us back. And then it didn't. We were told new & (re)framing wouldn't start until this coming Tuesday but much to our surprise, they started this Thursday!

Framing our house has proven to be quite complicated for the framers. I'm pretty sure they are (or at least started out) completely confused. Because we are adding on and raising the roof (for higher ceilings), some walls are being removed, some are being moved and some are getting extended.

We are watching the progress very closely and I am sure that our builder is just loving the calls he has gotten from me already this weekend…."Hey, I'm standing in the house and it's looking good but…."

There have been some minor issues but as of right now they have been resolved or have been promised to be resolved. I went out this morning to check on it and of course, made one of my many phone calls. I love just standing in the middle of the house and envisioning what it will look like when it's all done. I'll be going back out this evening to see what was accomplished this afternoon (hopefully I don't have to make yet another phone call). At the rate they're going we may have a roof by end of next week!

Side note: As I was on one of my "phone calls" talking about plate height (please don't ask me to explain what that is) I thought to myself, "I can't believe I even know what this is" and then after hanging up I thought, "Holy cow, that was like a very grown up conversation. I'm making grown up decisions. Oh crap! I'm a grown up!" Do you ever have thoughts like that? I mean, I don't feel old enough to be having conversations and making decisions like that and I'm much closer to middle age than I am to my teenage years. Anywho, just thought I'd share that little piece of my thought process.

So, moving on……

How about some pics?

I know for some this will be hard to envision. The first time we built a house, I couldn't tell up from down during the framing stage. It wasn't until the sheet rock went up that it all made sense.

Framing-Front View
Framing-Garage
Framing-Family Room
Top: Front of house; Middle: Garage; Bottom: Back of house/Family Room

This process has already been long and pretty stressful but I don't for one second forget who made all this possible. Every day I thank God for bringing us through that storm.

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October 18, 2013

I'm here but I'm not…

We're exhausted

This week has been such a blur.

Last weekend Tensley, I believe, had a bad dream during her nap so the first of this week has been tough trying to get her to sleep in her own bed. All four of us slept in our bed Monday night. Actually, the girls slept in our bed and we teetered on the edge most of the night and woke up every time they moved or made a noise (I seriously don't know how families co-sleep)

I've gotten behind on my 31 days posts. I might get caught up on them but I might not. I'm just too tired to think about it right now.

Speaking of tired. About a month ago I had my thyroid levels tested (I have/had Hashimoto's Thyroiditis) and it came back that I was very hyper thyroid. They lowered my meds and about a week after taking them I felt like I hit a wall and haven't been able to get over it since. There was no amount of caffeine that could have brought me out of that state of exhaustion. Believe me, I tried.

This past week they tested my levels again and now I'm on the extreme opposite of the spectrum. Now I'm very hypo thyroid…which explains the exhaustion that seems to have come to a head in the last week. It also explains the headaches I've been having every day since last weekend. My meds have been adjusted yet again so I'm hoping I can feel normal again soon…although I'm still struggling to figure out what normal is lately.

So I'm telling you all of this to say that anything involving the computer has been neglected. The only time I can ever get anything done is when the girls are napping and for the past week, I've been napping with them. If I'm not napping when the girls are napping, I'm trying to get caught up on household stuff and when they go to bed I either go to bed as well or blankly stare at the TV until I can muster enough energy to move to the bed.

I promise I'll be around. You just may not see posts from me frequently until this thyroid stuff gets worked out.

I will, however, have a Rebuild Update this weekend.

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October 15, 2013

Toddler Tuesday: Fall Fashion

Toddler Fall Fashion Cover

Having twin girls and having to buy two of everything can add up! If I'm not careful my clothing budget can disappear very quickly. However, I do tend to splurge here and there.

I thought I'd share some of the girls' Fall wardrobe that I've purchased (and some I'm hoping to in the near future).

The outfit Tens is wearing above is from Target. As soon as I saw it I had to have it! Especially since my girls look good in any kind of blue. It was a little bit of a splurge at $12 for each outfit (I typically try to stay around $10 and under).

Here are some other outfits I've managed to snag thanks to sales and being thrifty. They're all from Gymboree.

Sparkle Woodland Creatures Rainy Day Flowers

So you may look at these and think, "those aren't Fall appropriate!" In fact, the first 2 outfits are capri outfits. You see, our fall high temps really aren't that much cooler so I can usually just add a light sweater or jacket for the cooler mornings and evenings and we're good.

I also plan to use some of their summer clothes and layer them. I often layer their summer dresses over leggings and add a little sweater cardi or jacket. That's the great thing about dresses…they can last longer than a year. They go from dress to tunic to top as your little one grows.

Here are some of the outfits I have put together over the past few weeks. I've been posting these on Instagram with the hashtag #stairwayrunway.

Flowers & Ric Rac Tensley Flowers & Ric Rac Tillie Purple Black White & PinkPink Ruffles_1  Pink Ruffles_2

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October 14, 2013

31 Days of Design: Barnyard Birthday

31 Days of Design

To continue the Farm theme, today I am sharing with you an adorable Barnyard Birthday Invitation.

Barnyard Invitation

I don't have any other party printables to go along with it but could easily design some for a complete set.

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October 13, 2013

31 Days of Design: Tractor Party

31 Days of Design

We're starting off this week with a Farm theme. Today I'm sharing with you a Tractor Themed party.

Tractor Invite

Tractor Party

An invitation, banner, party circles, bottle wrappers, party sign (not shown) and thank you (not shown) notes are all immediately available with this set.

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October 12, 2013

Rebuild Update: Foundation & Lighting

Mills Rebuild Logo

So at the rate we are going right now, we should be back in the house sometime in 2015. Ok, that may be a little bit of an exaggeration but it's what it feels like right now.

As an old pro at building houses (we built the previous house so that makes me a pro, right? lol) I knew this beginning part was going to take for-ev-er and being in the midst of it, I can tell myself, "you were right". It doesn't make it any less agonizing and it doesn't make me any more patient.

But…..

We are actually making progress. The rest of the foundation was poured this week and hopefully, HOPEFULLY, the rain doesn't cause too much trouble in getting the framing started. I'm ready to see some walls!

Foundation-Dining Room

The actual building of our house might be going a little slower than I'd like but we are going strong with selections and buying things like fixtures.

I am happy to say that all of our light fixtures for the house (interior and exterior) have been purchased. Believe it or not it took a long 3 weeks of researching, discussing, shopping, discussing, mulling over and discussing some more before we settled on the 43 fixtures needed for our house.

Yes, you read that right, FORTY-THREE fixtures. It's crazy to think about but walk through your house and count your fixtures, you might be surprised. I'd like to note, however, that there are fixtures we duplicated, like for the closets, double vanities, etc., so we didn't actually pick out 43 fixtures…although it certainly felt like it.

Lighting1Lighting Fixtures

That's pretty much it for this week. I'm hoping I have pictures of the new framing next week!

Stay tuned…..

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31 Days of Design: A Little Dollhouse

31 Days of Design

It's Saturday! Do you know what that means?! It's time for a Rebuild update (Post coming later today).

To go along with the house topic, I thought I'd share this cute little Dollhouse party.

Dollhouse Invitation

Dollhouse Party Printables

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