Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Latest Nesting Project

Since finding out we were pregnant, I've felt a little more pressure to get my house in order. I've been ferociously tackling those house projects that have been swirling around in my mind. I figure once we find out the gender, all of my attention will shift to the nursery, so I better get the ball rolling on my other projects if I ever want to accomplish them.

I also decided I would relieve myself of some responsibilities and hire a housekeeper. This has truly changed my life. My baseboards now get cleaned! That's a first. 

I posted a few days ago about the updates we're making in our living room and our bedroom, but the dining room has seen the most dramatic changes recently. To think, it once looked like this.

Dark green walls with dark green ceilings and absolutely no personality. I take that back. It had personality, just not a very good one. We stripped the wallpaper and hired a painter who did some fantastic work. He had doubts about painting my ceiling orange, but became a believer in the end. Then came the new table, followed by slipcovered dining table chairs.

I wanted six chairs around the table, but since the table can comfortably seat 8, I wanted two additional chairs in the room that people could pull up to the table. I didn't have anything in mind until last fall when I saw our neighbors had thrown out three chairs and two of them were still in good condition.

I have no problem salvaging furniture from the curb, but from your neighbor's house? Is that too close for comfort? If they ever visit, will they be bothered to see their chairs in our house? We sat out in our front yard, keeping an eye on the goods, and when the coast was clear, we hauled them back to our house.

The fabric was less than desirable. A red and gold damask pattern that didn't go with the dining room. But fabric is easy to swap out and worth doing when the chairs are free!

Upholstery Guy Mitch did a fantastic job on these in just four days! He replaced the fabric and made some minor repairs, and they were good as new!

The next week, Mrs. Connie called to tell me my dining room curtain panels were ready. Ty and I finished hanging them last night, and they turned out beautifully. I don't know why, but it always surprises me how much curtains can warm up a space.

The room is completely different than when we began. It's elegant but still comfortable. With an orange ceiling, my biggest challenge was to make the room interesting without competing with the statement the ceiling makes.

I decided to go with a neutral, gold fabric on the panels in a fun pattern. And a different texture and pattern on the fabric for the extra two chairs. The ceiling, chairs and panels are all pulled together by the fabric on the dining table chairs.

At some point, I would like to add a rug. But right now I don't feel the room lacks because there isn't a rug. Our next step will be to hang artwork. Just this past weekend, Ty's mom gave us two pictures that Ty's grandmother painted. Mrs. Johnnie was an art teacher for years and both of the pictures are of places Ty used to go as a child. I love that they're so rich with meaning and will be in our family for years to come.

Next step ... the nursery. Just wait until you see this room!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

We're Having a Baby

If you could catch a glimpse of my grocery store receipt, you may have figured this out a little sooner. The addition of Cookie Crisp cereal, Pop Tarts and gallons of apple juice and milk would be a dead giveaway. ... I'm pregnant!

It's become an adventure for Ty to unload the groceries and discover what his crazy pregnant wife has brought home this week.

Let's see, what else has changed?

My idea of cooking is picking up a pizza from Papa Murphy's and exerting enough energy to unwrap it and bake it at 350.

I have become a sweatpants-wearing maven.

We eat cereal for dinner.

I could eat a hamburger (or two) every day of my life.

But, despite the dust my cookbooks are collecting, we're loving this journey. Our little nugget will be 12 weeks tomorrow, and we'll find out in a month if we're having a boy or a girl. We had a doctor's visit today and an ultrasound. The baby was doing somersaults ... rolling, flipping and moving its hands and feet ... already taking after Dad's excellent swim stroke. I saw some pretty stellar flip turns, as well. Just like a Jordan, already swimming in utero! It's OK, Mommy's already seeing the scholarship dollars.

Baby Jordan is due August 8. From here, I'm not really sure what all I'll share about this pregnancy. I probably will not be showing you my belly. I don't want to look at it most days, so I figured you would agree. I will tell you all about my cravings and the crazy things people say to me along the way. I've already had some wonderful gems thrown my way. It's funny what people consider complementary!

My greatest blessing is that I get to share this journey with some of my closest friends. In fact, I'm pregnant at the same time as HALF of my bridesmaids. My cousin and matron of honor Casey is having a girl in April. My best friend, LJ, is five weeks ahead of me. And another bridesmaid (who's name I will not disclose) is just three weeks behind me.

As they say, good things come in batches! Or, more likely, the good Lord knew I would be better off not going through this alone!

Friday, January 20, 2012

What Has Gotten Into Me?

As Mr. Baxter can attest, we have been majorly lazy around our house for the past month or so.

We being me.

My husband has been rather active. Waking up for work at 5 a.m. for the past several weeks and waking up about as early on the weekends for duck hunts. I'm glad his early morning schedule is coming to an end. Especially since I'm convinced that as soon as he pulls out of the driveway the ax murderer who's been hiding in the bushes will finally come in the house and finish me off. It's no way to live.

I never do well this time of year. I blame the grey skies and the long stretch of time from my last company appointed day off to the next. Thank heavens for Mardi Gras parades and king cakes, otherwise, I may not have the will to go on.

Being tired and worthless and boring does lend itself to one good thing. Lots of online shopping. As I lie on my couch with Mr. Baxter watching Harry Potter, I've managed to accomplish a lot for good our homestead.

First came the curtains.

We took down our Christmas tree and hung these in the same day and managed to stay married. It was miraculous. When I ordered fabric swatches from Ballard for my dining room chairs (you'll have to scroll to the bottom of the linked post to see them), I ordered a sample of this fabric and came to love it.

It didn't work for my dining room, but I think they turned out beautifully in our living room. Now I can watch Harry Potter in complete darkness. ... in the middle of the day ... since that's all I do lately. We also have curtains for our dining room that are in production and will hopefully be ready in the next couple of weeks. You can see that fabric in this blog post from August.

I also decided to get a start on our master bedroom. We've lived in the house for nearly two years and have done little with that space. I wanted to focus my efforts in the places that most people hang out when they come over. Now, it's time to make a cozy retreat for myself!

I used the money we were given for Christmas to put toward this headboard. I love upholstered headboards and think this will give the space a cozy, elegant look (once I paint over the mint chocolate chip colored wall paint). And since our headboard and bedspread are very neutral, I ordered two of these lamps, with a little splash of blue, from One Kings Lane for a great price.

I will have to document my final project on Monday. I had two chairs (that my neighbor put on the curb ... is that embarrassing?) reupholstered and they're being dropped off today.

I'll have plenty more projects and interesting things we've been cooking up next week. Toodle loo for now.