Saturday, March 31, 2012

Adios, March!

See ya later, March! I am ready for April! I'm looking forward to Easter, spring plantings in my yard, and getting closer to the sweetness that is summer break. I thought I better wrap up the month with the random photos from my March gallery:

As you can see, Lightening McQueen is always close by Michael's side. We've lost a couple of the other cars from the movie so I've been trying to replace them. Luckily, Michael seems to have learned his lesson and now is pretty good about leaving them in the car when we go to the church nursery or the Y childcare.

Big boy! (also, look how clean my basement is! wow!)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Master Bedroom Re-do

We've been working on this little master bedroom re-do for a while and I finally decided to get a few pictures taken to share with you! It's been done (this far) until mid-January when our new furniture was delivered but we've been working on it since November.

Here's something crazy about having a big loss in your life that no one will ever tell will probably go out and make a big purchase you wouldn't have otherwise. I think you do it because you feel like it will make you feel better. It doesn't, really. I'm really happy with the pieces we picked and I know they are high quality ones that we will have forever. I was reading in this little book my grandma had written in when I was home for her funeral and it was like little questions she wrote the answers to. There was a section on her home and one of the questions was what her favorite piece of furniture was and she said her bedroom set. I was surprised to see this because I feel like buying a bedroom set is a big deal and I remember hers so well! It was a big, oak sleigh bed and I wanted a sleigh bed so badly because I loved hers so much.

This re-do was badly needed because our bedroom was hands down the ugliest room in our house. Here's some proof:

White walls, no furniture, no curtains, no nothing. It was time for a change. is the after:

Our master suite is not huge so with a big new bed and two dressers, it seems a lot cozier. But I like it. I love the way the dark wall colors changes the feeling in there. The bed is big and I hope Michael has lots of good memories of climbing in with us to snuggle in the mornings because that is our favorite thing to do.

This also marks the second room (!) in our house in which we have hung curtains. After living here for 5 years....I think we better get on that with the rest of the house! It makes such a difference.

We ordered the tallest dresser they had and then we brought up Scott's grandparent's dresser that we had in the basement. It is actually a pretty good match and it is in really good shape so I'm glad we could put it to use. There is a matching chest that we have in Michael's room. We still need to hang something on the wall here besides our TV (which I love having in here....for nap-time trash tv watching).

We ordered the furniture from an Amish company who custom builds your pieces. As a result we got to pick out the wood (cherry), stain, and pulls for the drawers. It was a really easy process and I'm glad we picked something that seems at home in our house and with our style. Funny story- it took so long to deliver because the Amish people have to bring it to the shipping warehouse with a horse and wagon. Yes, we are talking *real* Amish people. Pretty cool, huh? I think so.

I think the paint made the biggest difference in the bathroom. We chose a slightly different color than the bedroom so we could bring out the caramel color in our accent mosaic tiles. I think it really makes the maple trim pop and I wish I would have gone with darker colors in the rest of my house in the first place. We love it!

We hung these two beautiful prints from our awesome photographers that they gave us for displaying at Trace's funeral. It is so bittersweet because they are so precious yet so sad. We had a hard time deciding where to hang these because they are fairly large and we didn't want them to just be anywhere. I think having them in our bedroom is nice and private, personal, and just perfect. :o)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fun with Friends

We recently got to spend a weekend with some of our good friends at their home in southern Iowa. The best part about traveling to southern Iowa is that is really is warmer there and thus, it is like a tropical vacation. The tropics of Iowa sure did deliver and we had gorgeous weather which was good for celebrating our friend's 30th birthday, basketball, and St. Patrick's Day.

This is as close to a group photo I got...sorry, everyone!

Bags skills were brushed up on while others enjoyed the sunshine and beverages (as I did). Michael took an EPIC nap on Saturday while we enjoyed was awesome.

Our Cyclones lost to an unreal Kentucky team. They did. not. miss. a. shot. I don't think anyone could have beaten them that night. A few moments were had early in the game where I thought we get the lead but those were short lived. It was a great season and I'm so proud of the guys (but sad to see Royce White leave for the NBA)!

We had a great time and it was so refreshing to get out of town for a weekend. Thanks for being great hosts, friends, and I'm glad we could help you celebrate the big 3-0!

(they have a great yard for a puppy....or a little boy...aren't they pretty much the same thing, anyway?)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

...a little happiness

I'm back today to share with you some happier pictures from the last few days. I hope I didn't alarm anyone with my down in the dumps post but that is the way things go sometimes....some days are good, some days are bad. Luckily things seem to be a little better here at the end of the week.

Michael and I headed up to Ames yesterday and spent the afternoon with my sister. It was a beautiful day and Michael played hard at one of our favorite parks. He barely made it to bedtime that night after more outside playtime once we got home. The redbud trees are so beautiful and I feel like they are all over the town. I love them! We treated ourselves to some gelato and coffee in Ames and when I got home Scott grilled dinner. It was a really great day and brightened my spirits.
I am thankful.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Remembering Grandma

On Saturday, my grandma passed away. We traveled back to my hometown Monday for the funeral on Tuesday and it has been a tough week for me.

It's been tough for so many reasons....returning back to my hometown and home church for the first time in months (and since we lost Trace), seeing family members and friends, and just being emotionally drained about not only the loss of grandma but all the memories it brings back about Trace's death as well. I honestly feel like I had turned a corner in my grief and the sight of spring was helping my spirit but now it just feels like I've taken so many steps back. I've read so many things about grieving and the process it is and I guess you never really believe those things until it happens to you. Let me tell happens. I was feeling better, even going for a few days in a row without crying and now I feel like I did right after Trace died with tears hourly. I've even started that god-forsaken crying when driving in the car thing again which is so terrible and unsafe.

I just hate that Trace is gone. I hate that in my grandma's obituary it says that she was preceded in death by him. I hate that when everyone tells me they are sorry about my grandma dying, they tell me they are sorry about my son also. I just hate, hate, hate it. I hate that this is my life and I have no choice but to accept it.

Can you tell it's been a long week? Wow. It is so hard just to keep it together for a little bit and so much harder even during emotional times. I wanted to do something for my grandma's funeral because I know how important they are and I wanted to do something for me and for her. I decided to do a flute solo during the service and I am so happy I did. I wish I could have said something eloquent or read a nice poem but when words fail me...that is where music comes in. I hope grandma loved it.

I am so happy that grandma was able to meet both Michael and Trace. She had said multiple times to me that she just wished grandpa had been here to meet all the great grandchildren too. I know that they are together now and are happy.

Michael and grandma's first meeting: January 2010. It was our first road trip with Michael...we thought he was really big (only 3 months old).

Michael and Grandma: July, 2010 (during RAGBRAI)

I took the boys to see grandma when I was home this summer. Trace was about 3 months old and he talked, smiled and cooed at grandma for a few minutes and then he fell fast asleep. He knew he was safe in her arms. I think they had a special connection....grandma's roommate at the nursing home told my mom that she had talked about Trace all the time, even though they had only met just once. I wish it had been more times.

I have so many more stories to share....hopefully I will get them down someday. It is so emotionally draining to process grief, heal and go on with life. There is one thing I know for sure- I know that with all my heart Trace is safe in heaven in God's arms and now I know that grandma is there, too.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

Friday, March 16, 2012


I think it is safe to say we all have an extra dose of spring fever around here. Combine that with some crazy March Madness and wow!! Life is crazy.

Last night the ISU Cyclones beat the defending national champs UCONN and are now one of 32 teams left in the NCAA tournament. They play Kentucky Saturday. I am beyond excited. Watching ISU basketball at our house is always a crazy time....I swear, it turns my husband into a crazy person. He always says the funniest things and it is really entertaining for me. It has sure been a roller coaster ride for Cyclone athletics this year and last night was no exception. I love those boys!!

(photos from't started my sports photography hobby yet!)

Go band! (Yes, I was in the men's pep band for a few years in college...and that makes me the nerdiest of the nerds!)

The weather has been outstanding this past week. Michael and I celebrated it by working outside in the yard and playing hard every day. It's so much fun and definitely a big mood-booster. We all need some of that now and then, don't we?

Some of the funny things he says at the park we go to:

-"Look! Big Spider!" (always says it when we go to Jester Park and see the spider sign)
-"Where did grass go?" (this week Jester Park was burned in preparation for spring)
-"Sit on your bottom!" (he tells himself to do this when he is playing train in the playhouse)
-"Elephant! Moose!" (said in reaction to the elk and buffalo that are at the park...haha)

My heart just sings with joy when I see Michael having so much fun playing.

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