August 31, 2009

Wallpaper is BACK, Baby!

I also cannot stop thinking about wallpaper.

Cannot. Stop.

It's ridiculous, really. I want something old and floral. (Old, old - not 1980 old.) They make "removeable" paper for us renters - it's called Waverly4. I can't wait to investigate.

Rolling Around In My Head

Okay, so...

we are moving.


With that exclamation out of the way, happy Monday! Today there are a few things rolling around in my head:

Finding a king-sized headboard to paint

White glass-door bookcases for my creative yumminess

Real Straight jeans at the Gap

Vintage toddler clothes


August 28, 2009


Have you guys Tumbled?

Turns out, Tumblr is a fantastic place to store all of the images that you fall in love with online (you know, in case your external hard drive is getting too cluttered... ahem). It is similar to Flikr, however, it will link back to the original image. It's great for making sure to cite your sources. I have also been told that you can sort images, but I'm still working on that.
Anyway, hop over and follow my Tumblr! Visit my favorite images here.

I'm using the business out of this resource while planning our move.

August 27, 2009

White Quilt Update

Recently I posted about decorating with white. One of the things tumbling around in my brain was an all-white quilt for my bed.

I was all set to purchase the fabric (about 15 yards of Kona white cotton) and topquilt 4 large squares with channel lines. My plan was to hand-sew the squares into one large king-sized quilt. It was going to be all messy and yummy and crumply and white. Sort of a pain in the ass, but I was getting all geeked up about it. I was even thinking of ruffles!

Then I came across this.

It's an all-white channel stitched quilt (very Pottery Barn-esque) at Target. It was on sale for less than $60. You quilters know that I couldn't possibly purchase enough front and back yardage for a king sized quilt, plus batting for less than $60. I had to snap it up.

So now it is on my bed and I have remorse. I like it. Love it, really. Except I have this nagging voice in my head telling me I could have made something more memorable. Something my kids would want to pass down. But I sold out.

I hate that feeling.

August 21, 2009

Sometimes You Just HOLD ON

Able Mabel, all right. If ever a child lived her name...

I have been told that Mabel is a Force to be reckoned with. She's been called a bruiser. I've heard she's headstrong, loud, boisterous, unafraid, and does whatever she needs to get what she wants.

Hmpf. Not so great in a toddler sometimes, but doesn't that sound like a tremendously strong woman?

I wonder where she learned that from.

As you might guess I was disgruntled at this assessment of my third spawn. Then I decided I wasn't offended. I pity those who don't APPRECIATE the way God made her.

I snapped this picture of 'ole Able when Mindy and her family were with us in July. It was one of the first times she went down the slide alone. I was looking at the picture today and it made me think of all of this. My girl was unafraid. She gave a little grimace while she endured, but she was a rockstar in the end.

Kind of reminds me of my attitude through all of the changes in my life in the past two years. Sometimes, life rocks your boat. God moves you and you have to just. HOLD. ON.

And you get through it.

Maybe it's just because I'm her mama, but I'm proud of her just the way she is. Because I know when she's all grown up, she will survive anything.

Organizing A Move: Things To Do AFTER Your Move

Image here.

I have four tabs in the AFTER portion of my moving workbook:
  • Things to Do

  • First Grocery List

  • Change of Address

  • Safety Proof New Home


  • Make room by room plans for updates to new house

  • Plan arrangement of pictures, wall hangings in new house

  • Mail moving announcements to family and friends

  • Take trash/boxes out

  • Complete elementary school registry

  • Give employer new home address

  • Exchange spare home keys with a trusted friend

  • Locate post office, police station, fire station, gas station, and hospital

  • Call the trash department to find out which day the trash/recycling is collected

  • Secure new service providers such as a bank, pharmacist, vet

  • Contact local DMV to exchange your driver’s license and register your vehicle if necessary

  • Transfer insurance policies to a local agent

  • Obtain local library cards

  • Register to vote

FIRST GROCERY LIST: This is an idea from Flylady and is wonderful to keep handy whether you are moving or not. Again in Excel (gosh, can you tell I sit at my computer all day?), I created a spreadsheet listing all of the foods my family buys on a regular basis. I divided the list into categories such as: produce, dairy, meats, boxed, canned, dry, and non-food, according to the layout of my favorite grocery. You can print and laminate your list to use with a crayon or wet-erase marker when it's time to shop - simply circle the items you need on the list.

When you move locally you'll take some of your food with you. It's a great time, however, to purge your freezer and fridge and restock with needed items. Compare what you bring with you to your master list, and pick up what you need.

When you move a long distance you will not bring food with you. In this case a first grocery list is essential and can eliminate repeat trips to pick up forgotten items.

CHANGE OF ADDRESS: Keep a list of those persons that you wish to inform of your move. Also include magazine subscriptions, doctors, lawyers, crediting companies, utilities, your employer, etc. Once you have signed your lease/loan, update your records and circulate your new information. You also need to change your address with the US Postal Service.

SAFETY PROOF NEW HOME: Every home has its own liabilities. You may need window locks - or not. Hook & eye closures for the attic door - or not. Go through your new home and note anything you may need to keep your new pad safe for your children and pets. Check the smoke detectors to be sure the batteries work. Install a CO2 detector.

I noted in this spot that I own and will be bringing my 2 fire extinguishers with us when we move.

What is on your AFTER moving list? Am I the only sicko that has one?

To read tips about Things To Do DURING A Move, click here.

To read tips about Things To Do BEFORE A Move, click here.

To read tips about Moving Supplies, click here.

I'm Pooped

I. Am. Exhausted.

I could seriously fall asleep sitting here right now. It's been a very long week.

Last Sunday, our truck took a poop. Specifically, it had a bad fuel injector that fouled up the oil lines and burned up the catalytic converter and caused it to misfire on cylinders 5 and 6. Nice, huh? It took 3 garages four days to diagnose and repair. In the end, Praise be to God, it was covered under warranty.

There was open house at school on Monday. We got home at 9 and while the boys showered, I made Andy's birthday cake.

Trevor switched to the small town football team and began practice this past Tuesday. Every night, until almost 9. That is a big change for us. The kids are usually in bed at 7:30.

Tuesday was also Andy's birthday. So, while the boys showered I iced Andy's cake. We had a quick slice before bed.

Then the boys started school on Wednesday.

Mabel has been very upset that we're forcing her to be awake past 7:30. I keep trying to explain to her that she is free to nod off at any point and she refuses to hear me. She screams instead.

So, yeah. It's been cold cut sandwiches for dinner 3 nights a week now for over a month (first baseball and now football). I'm sick of it already and there are like 8 weeks left of football. This is baptism by fire to the whole youth-in-sports thing. How do parents do this successfully? Seriously - please share tips if you have them!

I barely got any laundry done this week.

I found out that the home I had my eye on isn't going to work out. The same day, I found another home to rent that WILL work out. We'll move some time around October.

I haven't cooked a good home cooked meal in a couple of weeks and I want to.

I need to vacuum. And start packing.

August 18, 2009

Little Roo

Happy 7th Birthday, Little Roo. Oh my, how I love you so.

I love your giggle.

I love your freckles.

I love that space between your teeth.

I love that your hair is punked up every morning.

I love how tiny and frail you look, but how ferocious you really are.

I love how you filled with pride last week at your first hit at coach pitch. I love how you didn't give up, and now you "love baseball."

I love how much you love your sister, even when you make her scream for the 1,000,000th time in a day.

I love how much you love to paint and sew and I will try to do it with you more often.

I love your long eyelashes.

I love that you are stubborn and scrappy.

I love that you came second. God chose you for a very special role: the middle. You are both a big brother AND a little brother.

I love your grubby fingers and toes.

I love how you have to sleep with Pengui, Po, Wuzzy Bear, George 1, George 2, Sleeping George, and 12 other friends.
I love that Jesus healed you.
I love that you are mine.
Love, Mama

This post was supposed to publish yesterday, but due to the fact that I was dealing with my truck's engine malfunction (FUN), I was preoccupied and forgot to hit "publish."

August 17, 2009

One More Chunk Of My Story

Shoes contacted me and asked me to remove this post. Because I have a tremendous amount of class when it comes to our history, I am removing it.

I cannot, however, delete your uplifting comments. I am thankful for them.

I know that I am strong and capable, and that I stand firmly on this ground God put me on. I am thankful for my experiences and I am not embarrassed or afraid to share them with the world. Every mistake, every stupid thing I've done. Rest assured, I am not afraid.

My experiences and memories are not law (or libel, for that matter), they are simply my non-contemptuous recollections of how I came to have the wounds I wear. I am proud of them.

But back to that class thing. Yeah, I'm removing this post. It sticks in my craw and smacks of First Amendment censorship... but I'm letting this one go. Picking my battles.


Patchwork Penguin said...
I know I have never experienced anything like this, but I can imagine it is difficult to come to the point where you have to accept that the one you love, the one you have committed your life to is no longer the same person. You made decisions you had to make for you and for your children. You are a good mom....... and they will come to a point in their lives where they will understand and love your for those decisions.Hugs,Nancy
August 17, 2009 6:14 PM

Diva Kreszl said...
Sweet, sweet Rachael! Your post today brought tears and amazement at your strength and resolve. While this terrible ordeal was unfolding how did you keep it together? I am in awe of your strength and how your faith has carried you so far. God has blessed you with your wonderful children and a supportive Mom and I will pray for him to continue to watch and protect all of you. Thank you for the bravery it took to share this story, may it be a healing for you. Bless you, bless you, bless you!!!
August 17, 2009 7:04 PM

Becky said...
You are an excellent mother and very very strong woman!! I am proud of you for getting through it and believing in yourself!
August 17, 2009 7:17 PM

Mindy said...
I love you! I'm so very proud of you for telling your story. This sounds like my Rachel. No fear here. "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear." 1 John 4:18a
August 17, 2009 8:00 PM

Beth said...
oh my gosh. I was holding my breath.Thanks for sharing your story with us. You are amazing!
August 17, 2009 9:52 PM

Wendy P said...
Wow. Your first version was much milder than this! YOU ARE AMAZING.You are so strong, brave and steady. A great mom. You protected your children, which is a mother's first duty. Sounds like you learned from a good mother too.You should have no regrets. You should only feel relief! And your children are going to understand some day how very dangerous that situation was, and what you did to make everyone safe. Congratulations on your new life, and how the past has made you stronger. I bet you now know that nothing will ever be that bad again, don't you?
August 18, 2009 9:04 AM

Cherie said...
God bless you and may he keep you and your children safe. I cannot imagine going through all you've gone through RIGHT AFTER delivering a baby.
August 18, 2009 2:18 PM

Heather said...
We all see things like this in the movies, and know it happens. But to have a real person describe their trials and difficulties dealing with a mental illness is heart wrenching. You are an amazing woman to go through this. Keep your chin up. :)
August 18, 2009 6:21 PM

Angie's Chit Chatting Corner said...
Rachel~God will reward you and your supporters in your time of need with great gifts. Thank you for sharing that.
August 18, 2009 6:53 PM

Lori said...
((big hugs)) i want to say I admire u doing this. It is importat to keep these memories so u dont forget where u come from and why u are doing what u do. Isnt it great how kids can forgive. Once I took a summer class that I had to devote 12 hours of my day to for 6 weeks. my heat ached because i had to check out of home for that time. But on that last day when I came home it was all smiling happy accepting faces from my kids. A reminder that family will always be there no matter how small.
August 19, 2009 8:20 AM

jet said...
You.are.amazing. Really. How you survived that with a newborn I have no idea. Congratulations to you for making it through, not just making it, but thriving. I'm so glad you shared the details of the story. It is YOUR story to tell. God bless you and your babies.
August 19, 2009 11:10 PM

August 14, 2009

Decorating With White

From Chez Larsson

Kelly McCaleb

Via OhDeeDoh

Midcentury Modernist

Lan and Brian Frandsen

Chez Larsson again (love her!)

Kelly McCaleb again (love her, too!)

Gilbert Chair at Ikea

Via OhDeeDoh

Via Midcentury Modernist

Via Cookie

I love white.

Did you know that I love white? I do. It's so...CLEAN.

I've always tried to decorate with white, but I haven't always decorated with white the right way. Things around our house were bland, boring. There was no texture. I tried to make white the accent in my home instead of the primary.

This time around, I have grand ideas about decorating with white. Yes, I know I have children. Yes, I know they are dirty. White is worth it. Things wash. I think I can do it right. I think the key is to have little bursts of color to show your personality, and of course TEXTURE.

To that end, I am dreaming of a new quilt. An all-white quilt for my king bed. I don't want to send this one off to the topquilter so I think I may quilt it in chunks myself and then hand-piece the chunks together. Stay tuned!

August 13, 2009

Organizing A Move: Things To Do DURING A Move

Photo by Kelly McCaleb

There are 3 tabs in my Excel spreadsheet for the "DURING" portion of my upcoming move:

Things To Do
Overnight Needs
Moving Contracts & Receipts

  • Count boxes and items as they go on and come off of the moving truck - keep master list (color coded by room is best)

  • Have a designated broken down box and trash spot in the new house. Remember: If you unpack something you can't find a home for, you don't need it!

  • Unpack overnight items first

  • On the first day, make breakfast, buy groceries, and plan supper

  • Locate fire extinguisher and fuse box

OVERNIGHT NEEDS: The point of this tab is to keep track of the items you and your family will need before everything is unloaded or unpacked. In moves past, I have put this box in my truck with me so that I am not without what we need. Here is my list of overnight needs:

  • Medications, including pain/headache relievers (why is it that kids get a fever at the most inopportune times?), band-aids

  • Toiletries

  • Old towels for bathing and old handtowels for cleaning (use your nice ones to pack the dishes!)

  • Toilet paper

  • Paper plates, cups, and plastic silverware if you use them (many times they can be delivered free with Pizza)

  • Cell phone and charger

  • Phone book and your moving binder

  • Lamp

  • Ziplock bags

  • Box of trash bags

  • Tool bag and drill (my tool bag includes scissors and batteries)

  • Cash for pizza

  • Bucket, soap, and sponge

  • Light bulbs

  • Baby needs (diapers and wipes, sippy cup, BABY GATE)

  • Toys

  • Important paperwork (birth certificates, etc)

  • Camera and laptop

  • Quilts, blankets, and pillows for sleeping before the beds are set up

MOVING CONTRACTS & RECEIPTS: In my moving binder I keep a large yellow clasp envelope in this section. Whenever I obtain a receipt for my move, I put it in the envelope. Then when the move is complete, I file this envelope in my tax folder (moves are tax deductible!).

To read tips about Things To Do BEFORE A Move, click here.

To read tips about Moving Supplies, click here.

No News Yet

I have been keeping myself busy these last few days planning the move. Drawing diagrams, sketching furniture arrangements. Occupying my wandering mind.

I know we have to move. I put my name in for some boxes at work today. I have faith.

But the truth is, I don't know where we're going yet. The same house that I targeted more than a week ago is still in my crosshairs, but I won't know if it's ours until next week.

So, I'm patient. I'm being patient. Or trying, at least.

But for now, there is no news yet.

Keep praying.

August 7, 2009

Midcentury Modern Jackpot

Oh, Friends.

I hit the midcentury modern jackpot last week. I went shopping at an antique store in the small town that I work in (same one I want to move to) over my lunch hour one day.

First, I found a Herman Miller Eames fiberglass chair FOR $48:

Mine is tomato red (like the one on the left, above).

Then, I found a Bassett Danish-Modern dresser, side table, and corner desk FOR $140 total. Folks, I've seen this set online for $2,000!

Not exact, but they are similar to this:

Then, I found another pricey Danish Modern piece - similar to the chair below, however mine is all brown, FOR $12:

Good golly, I love small towns!

Organizing A Move: Things To Do BEFORE You Move

Photo by Jamie Waters

To be best-prepared for a family move, there are certain things to be considered.

Overall Budget
Moving Companies
Utility and Insurance Changes
Boxes and organization

BUDGET: First and foremost, you must do a budget. Scratch it out on a napkin, use a calculator, consult Dave Ramsey, or bust out the Excel again - but account for every bit of income and expediture in a month so that there are no surprises at your new place. Overestimate on your utilities until you are certain you know what they will be. I do this first because if you can't afford it, you can't move there.

PACKING: Make your list of packing supplies and begin packing. Start with the most useless items, like extra toys, photo albums, or (in my case) fabric. Pack the things you don't use everyday first. If you pack a little at a time, it won't overwhelm you at the last minute. It will also give you to time to collect boxes.

MOVING: Do some research in your area and look for coupons online to get the best deal for a moving truck. Book this as far in advance as possible and remember to pay the extra $ for insurance. (Shoes didn't do this once and promptly smacked a UHaul into our new neighbor's brand new Jeep Cherokee. Fun times.)

UTILITIES & INSURANCE: Make a list of the utility companies you are using now, including their phone numbers and your respective account numbers. Then, right next to that list make a list of the NEW companies you will need to use, with their phone numbers. If you are just changing your address with the company, jot down the phone number only. While it's not a utility, I also have my renter's insurance company listed on this worksheet. When you call to disconnect/connect, jot down the dates as well.

SCHOOL: Again, old information next to new information. I also have notes on my worksheet about specific topics I'd like to bring up at the new school, such as lunches, activities, and the PTO.

BOXES & ORGANIZATION: I made a list of rooms in my current home. Next to each room I wrote down what I might need to consider when I pack I up. For example, in the kitchen I will have refrigerated food, frozen food, glassware, utensils, plates, serving pieces, pots, boxed pantry food and jars, canned food (READ: HEAVY BOXES), towels, cookbooks, and small appliances. This is a new worksheet for me this time around. I'm hoping it will help me pack without being distracted (kids!) and will allow me to (kids!) collect enough boxes ahead of time.

Organizing A Move: Moving Supplies

I love a good project, like a home remodel or a budget re-do. School shopping, cleaning closets. My favorite project? Moving. It is a life remodel. A chance to re-do everything.

The best way for me to process a project is to line it up. Without trying, I organize it in chronological order (What do I need to do first? Second? After that?). I think about things that could happen along the way and add them in, also chronologically. I keep everything in one centralized location. Clearly, I must write everything down and I have found that rather than use only a paper and pen, Microsoft Excel is my favorite way to organize a move.

I keep both a printed copy (the binder) and the Excel workbook. In Excel there is a worksheet for every part of the moving process (see the tab list here) as well as every room. I store contact information, lists and lists and lists, and photos of inspiration in this file. It is organized chronologically into 4 main sections:





You may be more comfortable with a paper and pen. That's cool, too. Just write it all down. Keep it beside your bed and take it with you in your purse. If you're like me, you'll remember things at odd times. If you start thinking about your move early enough you will have time to go back and add in all of the detail that you might have missed the first time you jotted your thoughts down.

One of the things I think about early on is the supplies I'll need to have when I pack.

  • Boxes: Check Craigslist for free boxes in your area, scour grocery store and liquor store dumpsters, or ask at The Walmarts.
  • Packing Tape & Scissors
  • Garbage bags
  • Paper & Pen (and Excel, if you choose)
  • Black Marker: I suggest numbering your boxes by room and then keeping a list of how many boxes you have. For example, as you pack up the kitchen, apply your color dot (see below) and mark the box "Kitchen 1" ... "Kitchen 13". On your list, you would write down that you have 13 boxes for the kitchen. Then when you are unloading, you'll count the boxes in the kitchen and make certain you have everything you packed. Also label the boxes that contain toilet paper, the remote control, and the telephone.
  • Color Coding System (dots, colored markers, or colored labels): Assign each room in your new home a color. When you pack, apply a colored dot to each box so that your helpers know where to put your boxes when they are unloading. If you use garbage bags, tie that color ribbon around the top.
  • Newspapers or Padding: Many folks prefer to use paper between their dishes and glassware. I'd rather not generate the waste, so I use my towels or tee shirts.
  • Suitcase or Bag For Overnight Items: You aren't going to be unpacked in a day, so it is wise - especially if you have children - to pack a change of clothes, toiletries, and toys to keep them occupied while you run around crazy on the first day. More on this later.

Before you start packing, give some thought to what you can pack away first (those old photo albums and books) and what you should pack right before walking out the door (your plates and silverware). Don't pack up what you need to live until you're ready to do your living somewhere else.

If you're a parent you might also need to line up child care. While I don't mind packing with the kids at home, I know that I'll be relying on friends and sitters when I move boxes and furniture.

Moves can be stressful, but if you think it through and plan ahead, you'll find fun in the process itself. Well, you will if your middle name is "anal-retentive."