Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Monday, October 29th

Yesterday was my husband's official 30th birthday. To celebrate, he took the day off, we got up early and we went to one of our favorite places - Newport Aquarium.

We fed the birds (and got pooped on) and had a great time.

We weighed Henry in on the fish scale and he weighed in at 29 pounds. That's nearly impossible, considering how much he weighed at his last appointment and the fact that he's small for his age, but it was fun anyway!

Then we had dinner with a couple that Jeremy went to school with. (Well, he went to school with Mark.) It was the greatest breath of fresh air when it comes to meeting new people that I've had in a long while. I really hope we'll get to spend more time together.

Jeremy said it was one of the best birthdays he'd had and that made me truly happy.

Now enjoy a photo of Henry and I - the first I have ever taken with a webcam! Haha!

Who Am I? - How do my roles in life affect me?

Who Am I? - How do my roles in life affect me?

What roles do you play in life? We all have a mile-long list of roles that affect who we are and how we live and enjoy our lives. Some roles affect us more than others and those are the roles that we tend to fill most often and are most important to us. Roles often define us as a person, although they should just be an extension of our persons. While they may play a huge role in who we are, we have to be careful that they don't overtake who we are completely.

So what roles do you play in life? To be vague, I am a mother, a wife, a granddaughter, a sister, a daughter, a daughter-in-law, a friend, an aunt, and an employee - just to name a few of the most important. The real question is, how do these roles affect who I am?

With a role comes expectations, some realistic and some not. As a mother, I expect myself to be loving, calm, cool, collected, encouraging, the voice of reason, a rock for my children, the disciplinary, fun, educational, comforting, enthusiastic, the boo-boo fixer, a cook, (just to name a few!) while still fulfilling the other roles I play as well. As a wife, I expect myself to be sexy, confident, loving, loyal, encouraging, a confidant, fun, exciting, a partner, a friend, a cook, and so many others!

You'll notice that within a role, there are many other roles. As a mother, I often play the role as cook, teacher, nurse, and cheerleader, just to start. It can all be overwhelming at times! In order to discover who we really are, I think we have to dissect these roles and separate the expectations that are necessary and realistic from those that just aren't.

Make a list of roles that you play and then write the expectations that you (and others) associate with that role.

As a mother, I find it necessary and realistic to be loving, to be comforting, to be encouraging, along with several others. But once I think about it, I realize that I can't always expect myself to know all of the answers (educational), to be a gourmet cook, to be fun all of the time (I AM the parent!) and to fix every boo-boo (most I hope, but not all!).

If I beat myself up when I fail at these expectations, I am taking who I really am and attempting to force myself into someone that I am not. Therefore I must learn to accept that I expect more from myself that what I can sometimes offer and instead of setting myself up for failure, I must reshape the expectations of these roles into something realistic and necessary.

By doing this, I may even realize that I am trying to fulfill roles in my life that are unrealistic and completely unnecessary, roles that do not fit who I am or who I am even expected to be. My guess is that these roles may even be the ones that stress me out the most! Sometimes if the shoe doesn't fit, you have to quit getting blisters and just throw it out!

What roles do you play in life? Do you have unrealistic expectations when it comes to these roles?

(You can read the first post in this series here.)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Dear Jeremy

Dear Jeremy,
Today you turn thirty. I know it's kind of a big deal, even though you don't act like it. Just think, you've been blessing this world with all of your sarcastic comments and humor for three whole decades. That's one heck of an accomplishment dear.
But it's more than that, it's more than just the number 30, it's about celebrating you and the amazing person that you are. It's about celebrating the day that  you were born, because without your birth, you would not have changed your little part of the world the way that you have.

There would be no me and you.
There would be no first date to the scrap yard and Muncie with Taco Bell for dinner.
There would be no engagement with  'Step Brothers' and Eldean Bridge.
There would be no church wedding on December 23, 2008, with just our families.
There would be no honeymoon to Daytona where we left open the balcony doors and listened to the music of the ocean all night long.
There would be no 11 N. Walnut St. with a lack of heat in the dead-middle of winter.
There would be no celebration of our one year anniversary at Outback and NightSky.
There would be no tiny apartment on High St. with Pete, Patty and pumpkins.
There would be no pregnancy test sitting on the bathroom counter on a day home sick from work.
There would be no birth of our Little Bit on a date of all odd numbers.
There would be no heart-stopping Sherrif's auction where we were the only ones to bid.
There would be no house in Pleasant Hill with 'an abundance of wieners'.
There would be no bonfires in the backyard.
There would be no first birthday party.

And no 30th birthday party.

My life wouldn't be the same today without your birth and I don't even want to think of living a minute without you. You are my other half, dear. And I want you to know that I will be here not only for your 30th birthday, but for your 40th and your 50th and your 60th and hopefully on up from there. You're stuck with me in all of my rotten, stubborn ways. I hope that the next thirty years will only be sweeter than these last thirty and I hope that as we age, we will only grow closer together.

You are such a wonderful father, minus the parts where you forget to do the little things, but we can just look past that. Your my favorite person in this world, and even when all others fail us, we'll always have one another. I couldn't have picked a better husband.

I love you so much. Happy Birfday baby!

Your Wife

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Liebster Award

What a pleasant surprise to discover that Laura over at Mice In The Kitchen nominated me for a Liebster Award. She's so sweet and funny, if you've never been over to her blog before, go check it out! Thanks Laura! I feel so blessed to know that you thought of me!

So what is it?
The Liebster award is given by fellow bloggers to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.
So what does it mean?
Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

What's the rules?
Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
Answer the questions that the nominator set for you plus create 11 questions for the people you’ve nominated to answer.
Choose 11 people and link them in your post. 
Go to their page and tell them. 
No tag backs!  
Easy Peesy!

Eleven Things About Jenn

-I'm totally obsessed with Brandon Heath. If I was single I would probably just follow him around the country as a groupie, secretly wishing that he wasn't engaged to a fantastic woman in hopes that he would one day fall in love and marry me. Please don't tell my husband. Since I am married (and happily so) I have settled to swooning over his music in my every car trip. Close enough, right?
-I bite my nails, always have and probably always will. It really doesn't bother me until I paint them (which I rarely do anymore) and realize that within ten minutes I've usually already messed them up. Me and nail polish just do not mix well.
-I'm a class-a procrastinator. There are just too many fun, wonderful things to enjoy in life to want to sit down and work on something before it has to be done. So I wait until last minute to do everything. I think the high-stress of it needing to be done actually motivates me in a weird way.
-I am not a sweets person. I could do without pretty much all candy and cake, especially if it's sour or caked with icing. No thank you.
-I love popcorn. I traded the sweet stuff for the salty stuff. I try not to buy things like chips because I am totally capable of sitting down and eating out of the bag for hours upon hours without being satisfied. Strangely though, I don't like heavily salted food. I yell at my husband all the time for salting his food at dinner time. Hand me the pepper, please!
-I want to live by the ocean. Not in Florida where it's warm all the time, but somewhere like Washington state where there's cliffs and huge trees and crashing waves.
-I've developed an obsession with anything birds since buying our home, especially owls. I have bird cages, bird nests, wooden birds, ceramic birds, stuffed birds, bird sayings - you name it, I have it decorating my house.
-I hate my name. I wish I was named something profound and classic like Elizabeth. Instead I'm stuck with Jennifer - and of course, my middle name is Marie. Welcome to the late 80's!
-I love lace. What girl doesn't? I also love color and have a small obsession with glass containers - jars, bottles, vases, etc...I couldn't live in a black and white world.
-My world revolves around making others feel safe and happy. As a mother, this is a given, right?
-I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. That's bad, isn't it?

Laura's 11 Questions

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be and why?
Probably pizza. The world would be a pretty sad place without pizza. Plus, there are sooo many combinations of pizza that I would never give bored and I'd still be able to sustain some sort of healthy version of a diet I think.

What is your biggest pet peeve?
Rude people. I can be rude at times, I know this, but I try my best not to be and it drives me absolutely nutty when people are rude for no reason. I literally have to bite my tongue to keep from saying something most of the time. Life is just too short to be rude.

If you could live anywhere in the whole world where would it be?
Ireland I think. Or Washington state. I don't know. If I could take my entire family with me, I'd be in Ireland in a heartbeat, but for family's sake, I'd still love to move to Washington on the coast somewhere. However, I will probably live my entire life right here in sleepy Pleasant Hill, Ohio. It's not really that bad.

Who was your childhood hero?
The Pink Power Ranger. Don't hate, I had all brothers.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I wanted to be a veterinarian and because that is an awfully big word for a child to spell, my teachers often thought I wanted to be a veteran. I also wanted to be a teacher. Finicky child, I know.

What was your favorite toy as a child?
My Puffalump that I called Fluff-a-Lump. Ring any bells? I still have and love this thing.

Dogs or cats?
At one time I would have swore on my life that I'd never be able to choose but I am such a dog person anymore. I still love cats, but after caring for my husband's for the past 4 years, I'm done with them in the house. No more.

If you could turn any of your hobby's into a career and money was not a factor what would it be?
I suppose I should say photography, but really, I think I'd rather be a full-time creator who had people around who could help me make and sell things that I do create. There are sooo many cute things out there that are so easy to make but I just don't have time. I keep urging one of my close friends to start making things with me so we can start setting up craft booths at the fairs and such next year but she just doesn't feel confident enough to do it. That may be one of my dreams, photography is another, but that may be my first.

If you only got one phone call who would you call?
It would depend on the situation. Is it the last phone call I would ever make? If so, probably my grandmother, only because she would appreciate that phone call more than any other person I know and my son is too young to remember it. If I were in trouble, it would be my husband.

What is the present on the top of your list for Christmas this year?
To have the house sided. I am not a gift person. I always have a horrible time asking for something I want because I have a hard time actually coming up with something that I want.

I am tagging:

Allison at Frost On The Grass
Stephanie at And Baby Makes 10
Sarah at Our Journey
Gillian at Comes in Colours
Beverly at A Happy Journey
Julie at Ross Family Adventures
Jen at The Adventures Of Our Army Life
Amber at Take No Thought

My Eleven Questions for you are:

What's you favorite time of the year and why?
What's one family tradition that you loved as a child?
What is your favorite quote?
Modern, vintage, eclectic? What's your style?
What's your current favorite song?
What is your all-time favorite book?
What's your favorite spot in the house?
What is your dream job?
If you could live anywhere abroad, where would it be?
If today was your last day on earth, what two things would be on the top of your to-do list?
If you could buy one thing for yourself, money is no issue, what would it be?

I'm looking forward to reading your answers!

Who Am I? - Who Do I Think I Am?

I think I've decided to go on strike against myself. I need to refocus myself and remember (and also discover) who I am away from any outside influences that push me to be someone other than my true self.

So I'm asking myself - Who Am I?

I'm on a journey to rediscover who I truly am, what makes me ticks, my strengths, weaknesses, what stresses me out and what calms me down and even how others perceive me. While on this journey, I'm encouraging you to join me because I think that we all get a little lost sometimes when it comes to ourselves. We get too wrapped up on who we think we should be, rather than who we really are, and being someone we're not, or trying to be someone we're not, can suck the life right out of us. I won't stand for that. This is my official declaration, a strike, against myself and the excuses I've carried to be someone other than who I know I am.


Who Am I? - Who Do I Think I Am?

I think in order to be successful in discovering who I really am, I have to figure out who I think I am right now. Every single one of my 'about me' sections, from this blog to my Facebook profile, says something different. Not only do they differ in small details, but they are vague and revolve mostly around the roles that I play rather than who I actually am, what I believe, what I enjoy and what makes me tick. Sure, my family does some of that for me, but they are just an extension of me - they're not me in my whole!

So today I am asking myself, who do I think I am? I think it will be great to look back in a few weeks and see if who I think I am changes as I rediscover who I really am.

So Who Do I Think I Am? - I am twenty-five, a Christian, married and with one son who is my entire world. I have two dogs, one cat and a fish. I enjoy photography, writing, creating, crocheting and spending time with my family. I live in a sleepy town where nothing (literally) ever happens and I like it that way. I am not funny at all and I think that I'm a pretty quiet person. Overall, I just love life and I try to be a positive, friendly person as much as I can.

Pretty simple! So who do you think you are? Link up with me, I'd love to read about you! I'm going to try to post at least once, if not twice a week with new ways to discover who we are!

The next post- Who Am I? - How do my roles in life affect me?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Jeremy's Big 3-0! (and a recap)

We celebrated my husband's 30th birthday on Saturday night. The theme was Vintage 1982.

I found all sorts of things that happened, cost, and were popular in 1982 and made little sheets and pasted them to newspaper for people to read. Then I hung them on my cabinets, it was the perfect place for them. I also cut out some pacman figurines, put them face down on some tape and then just attached put the tape along the bottom of my cabinets too. 

Then I made these rad neon tape banners by printing and cutting out the tapes and then sewing them together. I've gotten pretty good with my sewing machine and I've discovered that sewing paper is pretty easy!

The cake was German Chocolate, although I was told by almost everyone that it tasted more like a Mounds or Almond Joy. Either way, it was a huge hit and there was none left at the end of the evening. I will have to share the recipe sometime, it's not hard to make!

We mostly hung out in the backyard around the fire-pit, so I put together a tray for smores, made a huge pot of hot chocolate and then had Bailey's close by for a little bit of kick for those who wanted it. ;)

Henry and his cousins on the back of the firetruck!

The party was great, but it didn't start until 7 so I worked all day. But for once work was really just another fun-filled day. We had our annual Safety Awareness Day. 

There were fireman, police men, police dogs, all sorts of vehicles, food, a jump house and the highlight - care-flight.

Henry mostly loved the dalmatians.

The next morning I got the privilege of photographing one of my best friends, her husband and their little girl. Henry and Layla are only a month apart and Jessica and I try to get together about once a week. They are such a gorgeous family and we all had a great time. I just thought I would share a couple of photos from their session as well!

It was a busy and good weekend, and although it's Wednesday - I thought I'd share anyway!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I pondered all day yesterday about what twenty-five could feel like, or does feel like, I guess I should say. Twenty-four was a pretty good age - full of pleasant surprises, some big decisions and a whole heck of a lot of growing.

Growing as a woman.
Growing as a wife.
Growing as a mother.

The day before your life changes forever, it feels like just any other day, after all.

And that's where I am today. Today feels like any other day. It doesn't feel special and I don't feel older. But today may just be leading up to the day that changes my life forever. I have no way to know...and that's okay.

So I am saying hello to twenty-five and goodbye to twenty-four. And I know that this is good. I've noticed that with age comes wisdom, patience and an ever-growing love for my husband and son. And who knows, perhaps twenty-six will greet me with a some pleasant surprises.

This is just the day (or year) before my life changes forever...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pumpkin Truck

Around these parts we have a lot of places to get pumpkins.

We have farms that set up stands on the side of the road.

We have farms that will take you out into the patch on a hayride and you can pick your own.

We have pick-up trucks that park in various locations and let you come and dig for pumpkins as you please.

Of course you can go to the store too and pick out a few but we usually try to do all the three of these. 

I just love fall.

And a truck full of $2 pumpkins.


I don't know what's got into me lately.

I asked for a sewing machine for Christmas 3 years ago and until about 4 months ago, I had never even touched the thing. For one, I was scared. Like, holy-cow, what-the-hell-was-I-thinking scared.

I mean, who was I to think that I could figure this machine out, let alone make anything with it?

Then one day last June I decided that I was going to make our good friend's little girl a blanket for her first birthday. A 'silky' as they call it, because they are so damn hard to find and I knew she would love it and use it. 

That is after-all the best gift, right?

So I did.

I bought enough material to bought two, made one that looked terrible and was miserably sad for Henry first and then made the second one for Miss Layla. And wouldn't you know that it turned out flippin' fabulous? I mean, yeah - there were bit and pieces that were kind of messy looking, but it was my first creation. 

And I was proud. I still am. Can't you tell?
(I even blogged about it before too, right here.)

Then I made several fabric and paper bunting banners for various reasons, all of which that I love. And I think it gave me this incredibly dangerous confidence boost.

So lately I keep buying things that don't fit in hopes to make them fit.

Like the $20 pair of jeans from Maurices that I found on clearance that were originally $95. They fit for the most part. They're just a foot too long. Literally. (Give a short girl a break, okay?)

I've got them marked and ready to hem, let's hope they turn out alright!

Then there's dress I bought this week to wear to our 'wedding'. It's two sizes too big, but whatev! I spent an hour earlier today pinning it and prepping it as well.

I've got this.
I think.

I should probably be asking for you to wish me luck. Probably. We will see. But right now I'm staying confident and I'm off to conquer my sewing machine!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

So What!

So What Wednesday

It's been a little while since I've linked up for a So What Wednesday but I've been one busy-bee lately and I figured that it'd give me a good opportunity to sit and blog for a minute or two...so on to it! This week I"m saying So What! if -

I'm more excited for everything after next Tuesday than Tuesday itself. Matter of fact, I'm trying to ignore Tuesday completely. There's something about turning 25 that just seems...off.

I'm so cheap that I spent 4 hours of my life yesterday shopping and trying on dresses, finding several that I loved but then putting them back because they were too 'expensive'.

I finally found a dress and bought it because it was $8 on clearance, but it's a size (or two) too big. If I pair it with a belt and a cardigan, I think it will work.

I have over 400 photos to sort through and edit right now, but I just can't find the time to focus and do it. It's like I have so much going on that I can't force myself to focus on one thing.

I'm pretty sure that my work is getting peeved with me. I have taken whole weekends, parts of weekends, days and even just hours off almost every week this month - and I need to take another day or at least part of day off in two weeks. Oops!

I'm giving up on certain people in my life. I'm sick of being the only one trying and I'm sick of pretending that I don't know how fake they are. Plus, people just need to grow up - ser'sly.

I'm just being lazy at the moment, but I have a crap-ton of things to do today and tomorrow before I go back to work Friday night. But I'm just not sure I care if people see dirty hand-prints on my cabinets, a leaf-covered back porch and a yard that needs mowed at the party Saturday night.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I was looking through photos this morning of Henry at this time last year. It's amazing how quickly a child can change and evolve and as his mother, I find that at times I actually have to look closely at these photos and then at the toddler running around my feet to really realize just how drastic the change has been. Every photo is Henry to me - and he's still just my baby. I guess I find it a bit difficult to accept how quickly he is growing up.

 These two photos were taken a year apart, almost to the day. I see a baby and little boy, so different and yet - still the same. His smile and perfect, little laugh - they make my heart beat. I can't imagine my life without this little guy and I feel so blessed to have him. Just think - God trusted us enough to be in charge of shaping him and helping him to grow and learn! He must have some serious confidence in us.

Thinking about how quickly Little Bit has changed, it makes me think about how much I have changed. Since becoming a mommy, how is my life different? Am I more patient? Or less so? I know he won't remember these first years, but I hope he will always know that I tried my very best. There were days that I felt like giving up, because they were hard, that hard... but I didn't. I didn't because he means that much to me. And I hope I can teach him to be the same way. To never give up, to keep on a'truckin' and to love like lovin' is going out of style.

I hope that he will see that his daddy and I love one another very much and that we would do anything for one another and especially for him. I hope he will see his daddy apologizing, and his mama being a little (lot) less stubborn when they've had a disagreement. I hope he finds charity in his heart for others and a longing to follow God's purpose for his life. I hope he loves pickle juice, just so we can make daddy gag together. And I hope he loves to work on cars, even if I wrinkle my nose when his daddy mentions spending his evening out there. I hope he'll root for the Reds and never refuse to kiss me goodnight and yell at me for embarrassing him.

Mostly I just hope he's happy and healthy and that he'll always have a family to turn to, even if they are a little dysfunctional.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Busy, busy life.

I have a lot going on right now. Like - a whole heck of a lot.

I am planning my husband's 30th birthday party. The theme is

Vintage 1982

I have pac-man stuff.

And neon cassette tape banners.

And did you know that 1982 was the year that the gloworm first hit the market? Oh, and Kelly Clarkson was born. And in case you were wondering - the first broadcast of the weather channel happened in 1982 as well.

Don't get me started on the music.
Boy do I have some music.

Pure hotness right there!
(I'm glad I'm a 90's kid.)

Then without thought of Halloween, or trick-or-treat, or any of the plans that surround that fun stuff...

I'm getting married!!

Kind of.

My best friend and I made a pact a while back. We decided that we would get 'remarried' as many times as we could, in many different places, with different themes and different feelings - but always with the same person, of course. Cause I mean, I love my husband more than what I did when I married him almost 4 years ago, and I want to celebrate that in as many ways as I can.

Plus this is gonna be so much fun.

So we are having a 'country' wedding on the 27th. We are all going to the pumpkin patch, we are dressing up and we are taking photos and instead of exchanging vows, we are going to exchange letters to one another. Real, heart-felt letters.

Yeah, yeah - it's not really a 'wedding'. But we love doing stuff like this.

And it's going to be perfect. 'Cause how could it not be perfect?

Plus - Henry will be there. The perfect addition to our lives as a couple.

It kind of makes me sigh real heavy inside...

So I've been online dress shopping and it's horrible, because I'm cheap; in case you didn't already know.

Then there's Thanksgiving to think of, and (holy cow!) Christmas.

Plus my new kitchen remodel.
(Did I tell you guys that I'm getting new countertops, a new sink and faucet and (maybe, just maybe) a new backsplash!)

Plus the siding.



Photo sessions.
(And how am I going to fit in any minis??)


Busy, busy life.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Free Printable

I saw this quote while scouring Pinterest last night and just had to have one for myself. So I threw this little number together, printed it out, framed it and set it on the windowsill behind my kitchen sink.

I can't tell you how much I needed this little reminder. Not only had I been turning my nose up at the pile of dishes in my sink for days, but I usually put off doing them for as long as possible because I HATE washing dishes.

But as I read this, I reminded myself what a blessing it is to have those dishes to do. And I knew I needed that reminder out where I could see it everyday.

And because I love sharing things, I thought I'd share it with you and give you the option to print it out as well!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Let's Go Redlegs!

Today is a big day for baseball fans, especially if you are a Red's fan. Today determine's whether or not the Red's will move on, a do-or-die tie-breaker between them and the Giants. 

We all know who I'm rooting for over here. I just wish that my hubby was home instead of being at work to watch it with me.

Let's go Redlegs!!!

Kiss It

So I've been reading this new book thanks to Gay over at A Girl Named Gay for a few weeks now. I wish I had more time to read it, but it's just been a page or two here and there when I have time. It's called Intuitive Eating and so far I love it.

I love how empowering that the first couple of chapters have already made me feel. For once I feel at peace with myself, the way that I eat, and even how I look.

Weight has always been a huge struggle for me. It's a huge struggle for a lot of us; but I can honestly say that it's been an issue for me for as long as I can remember. Even in elementary school I can recall where I challenged one of the fastest kids in school to a race just because someone was calling me fat. Just to prove to them that I couldn't help it! And wouldn't you know - I beat that kid. I was fast. I was a bigger built person even then, but I wasn't fat and I was sooo super active. The kid just didn't know what was coming at him.

Now I am fat. I know this. Whatever. It happens.

So I've tried dieting. I've tried counting calories, just cutting back, not eating meat, giving up carbs, matching points with my foods. Ya know where all of that has left me?


And ya know what. I'm finally accepting that it's not my fault. The skinniest I remember being in the last few years wasn't because I was dieting. It was because I was happy. I was free and I ate whatever the hell I wanted to, whenever the hell I wanted to and I paired that with an active lifestyle that I enjoyed.

So I'm going to keep reading this book and I'm going to go back to being who I am fully. I am going to try to rediscover the foods that I love, and I'm not going to limit myself just because someone says that I should. I'm going to try to find physical activities again that I once enjoyed. Hell - even shopping is being off your butt and walking! I'm going to kiss dieting goodbye for the rest of my life because dieting is deadly. It truly is.

Dieting helped me put on this weight, not take it off. And dieting has killed my self-confidence, constantly telling me that I'm just not 'strong' enough and that I just don't have enough 'will-power'.

I faced two days of full-force labor without any pain medication after sitting in the hospital for a week. I am strong enough.

I've changed my stars, taking the crappy cards I was dealt in life and turning them into one kick-ass hand. I do have enough will-power.

So kiss it, dieting. I will never see you again!

Monday, October 08, 2012

Home Improvements

It's been a little while since Jeremy and I have tackled any kind of new home improvement project. When we bought this house on foreclosure in March, it was one of the biggest steps in faith that we had ever taken together. And God has blessed us - just like He always does. However, that does not mean that there's not things around here (a lot of things really) that we'd like to change.


Slowly over time we figure we'll make it our own. Our first step was to empty the yard of the truck fulls of trash that was laying around everywhere. That took us WEEKS, I couldn't believe the amount of work it took just to empty our backyard! Then we did some deep cleaning and touch-up painting, bought a couple of appliances, built a railing for the front porch and pretty much disassembled the entire back porch. We bought a few new pieces of furniture, including two couches and a king sized bed. Now we're moving on to some new (and bigger) projects.

I am still working on Henry's room. I keep buying odds and ends here and there for it, but I honestly haven't even finished painting. It's just plain hard to get up there and keep him out of the paint long enough to get anything done. Plus, he is lacking furniture. He has a crib and a toy box and that is it. It may take me awhile to acquire a few things that will fill his room the way it needs to be.

Tonight we went and looked at siding and countertops. We are planning on tackling the siding ourselves. It's kind of stressful to think about, but we've been assured by many people that as long as that first piece goes on straight, it won't be very hard at all and that they are more than confident that the two of us (and maybe a few friends) can do it. We ordered enough to do the back porch and we're going to give it a try. If that's a success, we'll move on to the rest of the house. If not - we'll just bite the bullet and hire someone.

The countertops are my birthday present from Jeremy. I picked them out tonight and I am sooo excited to see how they're going to look in my kitchen. They should be installed before the week is over. Yay!!

I'm still trying to figure out what I'd like to ask my grandmother for for my birthday. Curtains? New bed set? The storage bench that I want for the kitchen? I just can't decide - too many improvement ideas floating around in my head!

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Weekend Recap

We had quite a busy weekend in the Ovenshire household. I worked Friday night as usual, was up part of the night with a stuffy-nosed baby and then called off Saturday although I was only suppose to work like half of a day anyway.

So we took the opportunity to spend some quality family time outdoors while. We went to the Fort Rowdy festival and walked through the mountain men reenactment camping ground. We picked up Henry's first wooden nickle, a tradition each year in Jeremy's home town. Then we headed north to the Minster Oktoberfest for lunch - another tradition. Nothing beats a bratwurst on a rye bun with spicy mustard and piled high with sauerkraut on a cool October day. A man there gave Henry a brand new dollar coin to remember his first visit there as well.

That night Jeremy and I spent our first night away from Henry so that we could attend (and I could shoot) a wedding. I work with Julie and Jeremy went to school with BJ so it was a half date, half work night. I still don't know if I had a good time. Not because the wedding wasn't great, I just missed Henry and there were so many other kids there that I had a hard time. I'm attached, I admit it.

Sunday morning we got up and went to our old church in Miamisburg for their Homecoming. I always enjoy going back and spending time there, but after attending our new church, it just doesn't fulfill me like it used to. I'm just not sure that all of the old gospel songs and screaming preaching of the southern baptist church is fit for us anymore - not that there's anything wrong them. I have just learned so much more from the more structured services at our new church and I love some of the old hymns, but I also love a lot of the new worship music too. I like that our new church combines the music and I love that I feel like I leave each service with a new lesson.

After church we headed home for my husband's grandfather's 80th surprise birthday party. I somehow (it was definitely a miracle) managed to get everyone gathered into the living room and into one photo. I love that Jeremy has such a large family, it really helps to make up for my lack of one.

After the party we headed home, making one final stop on the way. There's a local farm close to our home that always sets out pumpkins, mums, gourds, straw, corn, etc... out for sale. They use the honor system and for some reason, I just love that about them. I love that there's a community trust in our area that you can just leave your product sitting on the side of the road with a box and people can come and go as they please and they don't have to worry as much about someone walking off with their stuff, or their money. We bought a beautiful mum, 3 pumpkins and 3 gourds and it only cost us $10.

We had a wonderful weekend - and although I had to squeeze some homework in on Saturday morning and night, it was a whole lot less stressful than what life has been lately.

Thursday, October 04, 2012


I thought I'd share a couple of shots from the engagement session today because I need to unwind before bed and this is the easiest way to do so - with photography.

Because photography is so much more than a click of a button to me.

It's that memory, that moment in time that you will never get back.

It's my quiet, easy place. The place that I can be with myself and be myself.

And I feel like today's session was a step in the direction that I've been trying to head lately.

Where it's all about the experience and less about the time, the money, or the 'perfect' shot.

Instead we laughed, we talked and there was a true intimacy in the air (and in these photos).

And I got to be a part of that.

And I will never charge 'per the hour' again. No matter how anti 'pro' that may seem.

Today was just simply beautiful. And we all need a little more beauty in our lives.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Deep Breaths & The Way Things Are

I feel the need to apologize but I'm not going to. I guess usually I would keep my hard days to myself but lately I've decided that that just can't be healthy and I've kind of just stopped. More like cold turkey just stopped really. I think my husband has noticed too. It's just not fair to be the only one who carried all the things inside. Whether good things or bad things, I am human and I have a right to share them. Plus, the inside can only carry so much until it bubbles up and over the outside and while sometimes that can be a good thing, more times than not, it's more of a bad things. And I deserve more than that. We all do.

The Way Things Are:

I'm exhausted. I don't even know why I'm up right now. I should have gone to bed at least two hours ago. Henry is still not feeling well and he has a horrible time sleeping which means that he wakes up often and wants me to hold him. I'm super, super busy this week, this month really. I have several bigger photo sessions coming up, a birthday party to plan and then Halloween. We won't even talk about November and December. Umm...where the heck does the time go??

Why It's Okay:

It's okay. It's okay because my little boy needs me and I love being here for him when he doesn't feel well. I love knowing that he wants ME...no one else. Plus sleep will be plentiful on later days. Life is just too short to be so concerned about a couple of nights of sleep. Being busy is okay too. It's a good thing. Photo sessions will bring much needed extra Christmas money and why in the world would I be upset about celebrating my birthday?? Even if the party is for my husband. (Who is turning 30!! Bahaha...old man alert!) I honestly cannot wait until Halloween this year. I think Henry is going to have a wonderful time and I can't wait to show off his costume. I absolutely love this time of year. I guess I just need to suck up all the negativity and focus on the positives. There are so many good things, soooo, so many. Sometimes it just gets lost in the here and now.
My day so far?

I've been up on and off since 2 a.m. with a stuffy, grumpy baby.
My dog puked all over the house within a 5 minute period. As in, puked, walked two steps, puked, walked two steps, puked, jumped on the couch, puked. Just when I thought I had it all cleaned up and he was good to go, he puked in two more places - one being the rug. He's in the bathroom now - where he will probably stay for the remainder of the day.
Our other dog got loose and ran all over the neighborhood, me trying to yell at him and chase him without any shoes on and a sick baby on my hip.
I dropped my phone in a sink full of water. Which it's SUPPOSE to be water-proof. But so far it's not working. Go figure.

It's only 9 a.m. It's gotta get better, right?

I have such a busy week scheduled that I just can't do this. Jeremy has a test this week, three essays and three other assignments. I have an engagement session tomorrow, a wedding on Saturday, a church function Sunday morning and a surprise 80th birthday party for Jeremy's grandfather that afternoon too. I still need to do my grocery shopping, the house needs cleaned, the yard looks like hell and I have a hat to finish for a customer and a newborn session to finish editing from last week.

I may have a break-down. Seriously.