New Boys Room

With a new baby coming, I started to think about Finn & Stephen sharing a bedroom.  At first, I was just going to set up Stephen’s bed in Finn’s room and move him in there when the time was right.  But I realized that the best room for 2 kids was actually Stephen’s room.  Simply because of where the closet was in the room, it gave more walls for more beds & dresser.  So that meant:

  • Making the nursery into a “big boy” room.
  • Moving Finn into that “big boy” room now.
  • Making the current “big boy” room into a “nursery”.
  • Moving Stephen into that “nursery”.
  • Move Stephen into the “big boy” room when Baby #3 comes.
  • Baby #3 sleeps in the “nursery.”

Since I was never really thrilled about the color of the nursery, I wanted to repaint.  I didn’t have to – it was a perfectly fine color; just not one that I wanted anymore.  And it’s easier to repaint it when you’re moving furniture around anyway AND before 2 boys sleep there instead of 1.  So I repainted it white.  Stark white.  Never had a white room before.

BUT…I also did a big stripe near the bottom (but not at the bottom) of the wall.  AND I painted the trim!  I didn’t do the door trim yet — not brave enough for that, but I did the trim next to the floor!  I LOVE the way it looks, so that’s further confirmation that it’s the path that I want to go.

I don’t have any BEFORE pictures, but here’s the AFTER pictures.  (BTW…one of my goals for 2015 is to photograph my house – as it is, in all it’s imperfections.  It’ll be fun for memory lane sakes.)

It isn’t done, of course.

  • I ordered curtains in navy for the room.  Didn’t like them.  Will keep looking.
  • We’ll set up a Toddler bed in there for Stephen in a couple of months.  It’ll go across from Finn’s next to the window.
  • The boys have coordinating bedspreads (which they didn’t get for Christmas).  Eventually, they’ll get those.  Finn already has a comforter, but with potty training, it’s easier to use blankets because when accidents happen, I can wash everything in 1 load.
  • I want to add more 8×11 pictures to the wall, which I’ll do over time.  When Baby #3 is born, we’ll take family pictures again, so that might provide a nice opportunity for more photos.


Books Read in 2014

In 2014, I kept a pinterest board dedicated to the books I read in 2014.  Looks like I read 115 books last year.  That’s about 1 every 3 days or so, so that seems about right.  I love to read and it’s what I spend any downtime doing.  (And with 2 kids who pretty much go to bed at 7:00 p.m., I have downtime!).

In the interest of keeping Pinterest practical, I’m going to delete the board eventually since I don’t really need to see all those pins.  Some of those were great, fabulous, want to read again books.  Some of them weren’t.  But I can see where having a list of books read would be handy, so I’ll consolidate those 115 books into 1 graphic.  This one!


I will eventually (I think) create a “Really Good Books” board for my absolute favorites, but for now, this seems good way to remember if I need to.

Our New Entryway!

Here’s our new entryway!  At least what it looks like right now.



The pictures on the left is as you look in from our garage.  The pictures on the right are what you see what you enter the front door.

Now, I’m not quite finished with it.  I still want to:

  • Find “official” shoe baskets…preferably ones that attach to the wall rather than freestanding bins, but are still easy to clean as they WILL get dirty from snow and muddy shoes.  At our last place, I found wire-covered-in-vinyl refrigerator baskets for $15 (or less) at Walmart.  (Kind of like these ones.)  Then I just used eye hooks to attach them to the wall.  They were perfect because they were pretty cheap, not moveable, but could still be “detached” and cleaned in a kitchen sink.  I’ll probably try to go that route again.
  • Paint the “doorbell box”.  Probably the color of the wall, just to help it blend in better.
  • Hang pictures or some other kind of artwork above the ‘board & batten’.

But I’m calling it “good enough for now”!

It’s similar in style to what I did at our previous house (posted about here), although I never did post the final look where I had added coat hooks & shoe storage, but you get the idea.

What I like about it:

  • Simple to do!  (Especially if you can borrow a miter saw from your sister and you’ve been given a nail gun from your in-laws).
  • It’s white!  I’m still itching to go white with my woodwork and this is a good place to start.
  • The coat hooks came from Amazon and were cheaper than Lowes.  And free shipping with Prime!
  • It can hold a lot of coats — come on over guests!

I do wish I had gone just a tad lower on the lowest coat hooks as my 2 year old has trouble reaching, but he can do it.  I just thought I had gone low enough, but must’ve messed up my measurements some where.  Long term, though, it’ll be great!

The Process:

I pretty much followed the same process as before, using 1x3s and 1x6s.  It’s also very similar to Casa de Lewis’s blog, but I didn’t do a shelf on top.  I had debated about doing just one of the walls, but since this was a corner, I thought that would look funny.  So I ended up doing both and I don’t regret that at all!

  1. Paint your boards at least a first coat in the garage.
  2. When ready to hang, put your youngest in a high chair to watch from a safe distance.
  3. Measure, cut and hang your “horizontal” boards.
  4. Measure, cut and hang your “vertical” boards.
  5. Paint the back wall and your boards a final coat.
  6. Caulk & fill any holes.
  7. Hang your coat hooks.
  8. Let your 2 year old show you how it works!

Time Involved:

  • 1 hour (ish?) to buy the lumber, lay it out in the garage and paint it a couple of times.  Just used a small roller and did light coats.
  • 1 hour to measure, cut & hang the wood on the wall.  Jeff did most of this while I played defense against the kids.
  • 1 hour to paint the boards & back walls after it was all hung.  The painting probably went faster than usual since I was also painting a bedroom in the same white color.  So I already had the supplies out and that made it simple to just whip on another coat.  Probably did 2-3 coats total with the same little roller & a paintbrush.  (Although I had to do most of this painting while the boys were in bed.)
  •  1 hour to caulk holes & hang the coat hooks.  Don’t forget to do pilot holes!
  • 4 hours (give or take)

Cost Involved:

  • $35 in lumber.  Would’ve been less, but I bought a couple of extra 1x3s and 1 extra 1x6s since I didn’t measure carefully.  But that only cost me like $6-7 extra.
  • $20 in paint. I probably used 1/2 of a gallon on this project, but, again, it’s hard to measure since I was also painting a bedroom at the same time with the same color.
  • $30 in coat hooks.  Straight from Amazon and $1.50-$2 cheaper than practically identical ones from Lowes.
  • $10 in other things like finishing nails, caulk, paint rollers and the like.  Like the paint, I had these all at home, but it still used something that cost something.
  • $95 total…give or take.


I am 35 years old.  I am a grown adult.  I’ve owned a house since 2002.  We paid off our last house before we sold it (for sale by owner even).  We moved into this new-to-us-house last year.  We paid that off just months after moving in.

SOOO….please explain to me why I felt that I needed permission to decorate it?  Or to remodel anything? Why did I feel that I didn’t have the right or the expertise to make this house my own?  Why?

It wasn’t my husband.  It certainly wasn’t my 2 boys (particularly because neither of them know their colors yet).  Pinterest is full of people DIYing things and explaining what they did, so it couldn’t have been lack of resources.

But I did.  I felt unable to make decisions about my own home.  I felt paralyzed.  Maybe because there were too many choices?  Maybe because I don’t really know my style?  Maybe because I’m kind of a people pleaser and just know/knew that some people wouldn’t like the decisions that I make?

But I read a book that gave me permission.  It did.  My sister had recommended her book and it finally came up on my hold list at the public library.  (Literally like 2 days after I had drafted a post asking for recommendations on hiring an interior decorator because I just couldn’t handle my own indecision.)

I read it in 1 night.  1 night!!

It’s Myquillyn Smith’s The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have To Be Perfect To Be Beautiful.

What’s kind of funny about this is that I don’t really see myself going for a “beautiful” home, so the title doesn’t really meet me.  Sure, some things about houses on the Street of Dreams appeal to me, but not all of it.  And I think Beautiful Homes & Gardens magazines has some great stuff, but it also has stuff that isn’t really my style.  And I live in a very modest 3-bedroom tri-level in the middle of America.

I just want MY HOME.  For my family.  A comfortable place.  But that’s what this book was about.  Some key take-a-aways for me:

  • Don’t be afraid to start down the decorating road.  You may not end up where you think you’ll end up, but so what?
  • I don’t need to know what life will look like in 15 years before I start decorating or remodeling.  If I serve the needs and interests of 15-years-from-now Jayme, then I won’t really be serving the interests of all-those-years-in-between Jayme.
  • To get your husband on board, tell him what he needs or wants to know.  My husband just wants to know the big picture (aka: what’s it gonna cost?).  He isn’t into the details.  He doesn’t want to talk about satin vs. semi-gloss paint.  Or if we should go with these coat hooks from Lowes vs. these other ones from Amazon.  Some husbands need the details, especially if they’re involved in doing the work.
  • Figure out what your barriers are and what it takes to work around them.  Lacking a skill?  Either develop it, hire it out or find a friend you can borrow from to get ‘er done.  Example: maybe you don’t like to paint, but your friend does.  She might be more than happy to paint your bedroom for you if you babysit her kids for a few hours.  For me, it was too many choices and feeling like I was going to disappoint other people.  People that don’t live here.  People that might even only exist on the internet.
  • At the same time, don’t settle for what you don’t really want in hopes that it’ll make you forget what you do want.  You can spend years and lots of money filling up a room with things to compensate for the fact that you hate your flooring.  In the long run, it might be cheaper to change the flooring!  (This doesn’t mean that money is no object, but don’t solve the problems that don’t need solving).

I’ve read the book.  I’ve taken it to heart.  Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve “installed” a new entryway coat hook feature.  I’ve swapped the boys’ room in preparation for the new little one.  I’ve re-painted and decorated Finn’s room.  I made a decision on curtains for our living room.  (I wrestled with that for months!) And I finally feel free to start thinking about other things that I want.  They won’t happen all at once.  Money and time aren’t unlimited, but I NO LONGER FEEL PARALYZED IN MY OWN HOME!

Can I get an Amen!?

A few years ago (probably when I married Jeff and doubled the size of my family and the people that I was shopping for), I started keeping a little file of Christmas things.  Mostly the gifts that I was planning to buy and the status of them – Had I bought the gifts yet?  Have I wrapped the gifts yet?  It’s super nice when I’m in the mode of “did I get this figured out yet or not?” brainstorming sessions.  Then I don’t end up buying 2 gifts for 1 person and no gifts for someone else.  And it makes it harder to forget someone — I just start with last year’s list and make changes.

I also include things that I made for different dinners…like green bean casserole when we got together with friends or Chex Mix when we went to Jeff’s parents place.  That way, I could remember if things were hits or misses.  Like last year, when we had 8 dessert choices for 12 family members.  This year, I brought something different!

It’s nice because I have a record of the gifts I bought people, so I can make sure I’m not the aunt “who always gives me a doll”.  Unless, that niece always wants a doll.

Anyway, it’s helped my sanity.  Maybe it’d help yours too.

I want to remember these things, but I’m sure time will steal them from my mind to make room for other things.  I’m not good at taking pictures, I guess – too busy living in front of the camera instead of behind it (which is good in a way, not so good in others).  But here are the good and not-so-good things that I want to remember about Christmas 2014.

  • This was our year to travel to Jeff’s family’s town to celebrate Christmas Day.  Which meant the boys slept a strange-to-them place.  Tip for the future: They do better when they’re in separate rooms.  Once we separated them, instant sleep!
  • Putting toothpaste in your 2-year-old (Finn)’s stocking means that he’ll get into it when you aren’t looking and spread some on the table in the toy room.  And in his hair.  And 2 days later, you’ll discover more of it on his play fort and the carpet.  Smells yummy though.
  • Cheesy potatoes still rock!
  • Christmas ham is way better than Thanksgiving turkey!  (Even good turkey.)
  • 1 is such a fun age because everything is fun and they aren’t yet tall enough to get into too much trouble.
  • 1 year olds taken off milk & formula due to suspected dairy allergies eat all.the.time.  ALL.THE.TIME!
  • 2 1/2 is a fun age because they haven’t yet realized that Christmas means presents and they just think it’s so cool that they got anything.
  • In fact this year, Finn seems to think that Christmas = tree.  No matter how many times we explained that it was Jesus’s birthday or a holiday or a set day, it didn’t matter.  Anytime he saw a Christmas tree anywhere it was “Christmas!”.
  • Just because I think it’s a good idea to “surprise” your husband with a Christmas gift, don’t do it.  Even if you don’t really think it’s a Christmas gift, but something he would buy anyway and you didn’t wrap it, but just put it in his stocking, don’t do it.  It smells of violating agreements.
  • Spending nearly 2 days without facebook, personal email or work email is glorious.  Confirmed that while I want a smartphone, I don’t really want a smartphone.
  • 2 year olds that get really cranky and tired need trips to towns 40 minutes away “just because”.  It makes them fall asleep.  Even if it is 8:00 am on Christmas morning.  Even if all you do is see the town’s airport and turn right back around.
  • All the boys got from us (their parents) were a new toothbrush, toothpaste and socks.  No, we weren’t trying a new minimalist trend.  Or trying to prevent a feeling of entitlement.  We bought them more than that.  We wrapped more than that.  We got them books, puzzles, bedspreads, but they’d already gotten so many Christmas presents from other people that it’d be overwhelming at this point to give them more.  Should I save them for their birthdays?  I just don’t know what to do there.
  • I never even took Stephen’s Christmas outfit off the hanger.  Jeff’s family typically doesn’t dress up for Christmas, so while I took it with us to his hometown, he never wore it.  I guess I’ll take it back!
  • Highlights of the gifts for Jeff & I: an updated navigation DVD for our mini-van, money for a new desk chair for Jeff, gift certificates to Nebraska Furniture Mart, Ascension expansion pack and an additional crockpot!
  • Highlights of the gifts for Finn: Scooter from Jeff’s parents, Big Wheel from my mom.  Guess there’s gonna be a lot of speed in our future!  He also loves the take-a-part plane from Aunt T.
  • Highlights of the gifts for Stephen: a picnic table set, lots of books, and a toy ladybug set that shoots out balls.

23 week check up!

My appointment was supposed to be for 24 weeks, but due to Christmas and my OB being out of the office, I went in a week early at 23 weeks.  Most uneventful appointment ever.

  • Heartbeat in the 150s.
  • Measuring right on track.
  • I feel movement regularly.
  • I’ve gained about 3-4 pounds.
  • I got the delightful orange drink to drink before my 28-week Gestational Diabetes check.

That’s it!  Totally boring, but boring = good!


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