Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Family Wall of Fame Project

We have a loooong hallway in our home. The house is set up in a big U shape with a small courtyard in the middle. The long hall separates the extra bedrooms from the main part of the house. Remember, we have an empty nest, so all but the master bedroom is unoccupied by children.

I have been promising the RGH, I would make a Family Wall of Fame in that hallway since we moved here. I finally got my rear in gear and got it started. So I am sharing my process with you today.

First, note the long, empty wall:

I told you it was a long, empty wall. See how boring it is. I had to put a picture hanger on the wall just to get the camera to focus.

It is over 12 feet long in this section alone. Room for lots of frames. The problem here is there is not enough room to lay out a bunch of frames to make my plan. So I did the layout on the floor between my dining area and the family room.

I changed a couple of things once I laid it out. First, that frame in the bottom center is unlike the others. It has a wide, flat frame and the rest have a thinner, more decorative frame. So I had to run to Michael's to get one more frame. Darn! But my scratch off coupon was 30% off. SCORE!

I also ended up leaving off the two square frames on each end. I  have another, smaller section of hallway that I am planning a mini wall of fame for. I want to use those there. 

It took a little bit of time to get all these frames on the wall and straight. If you have ever done this,  you know that even exactly alike frames don't always hang exactly alike. But I had a gadget that helps with that. So here is the end result:

See my little ladder with my tools on the step? I guess I should have put it away so it wouldn't wreck the photo. My bad.

All the pictures in these frames are the pictures that were in them at the store. I promised the grandsons that will be here on Thursday that they could help me pick the photos. That is going to be fun. And it will also make the RGH happy to see his Family Wall of Fame finally finished.

Check off one more thing on my goals for the year list.

What project have you been putting off? Would it make you happy to get it done?

Just Do It.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Rest Of The Story...

The same day Logan was born, I drove home. I had stayed an extra day because the doctor told us that if he wasn't born on Tuesday, she would induce on Wednesday. The RGH came home as usual and our fabulous neighbor, Doug, picked him up at the airport.

Logan arrived about 2:20 p.m. I waited until I knew everyone was fine then I headed for home. Honestly, I wanted to go home really bad. I missed my bed and my husband and my cat. I love my grand-babies more than I can say and it would have been wonderful to spend some time getting to know Logan. But my daughter and her family needed those first few days to get accustomed to the new guy so I didn't feel guilty about leaving.

I got home around 9 or 10 p.m. I was so glad to be back home and know I could stay for awhile. I had a lot of catching up to do. But it didn't take long for the 'Now What?' to set in.

If you have children, you are familiar with the 'Now What's?'. That is that feeling that comes over you when the children are gone for more than a day or two. We moms especially, dream of the moment when we are relieved of our children long enough to take a bath and watch an episode of Sex In The City without interruption. But when we get that time, suddenly we don't know what to do with ourselves.

If you have children still at home, imagine how that would feel if you knew they were never coming back. It is a haunting feeling. Like no one needs you anymore. I had been there already and gotten over it. But here I was with the same Big Ol' Mess I had before. When I get that 'Woe is Me' thing going on, it is hard for me to make myself do anything. I had just spent 6 months taking care of people. I hadn't crafted at all. I hadn't read any books to speak of. I did cook a lot of bacon. Those boys love their bacon.

In order to pull myself out of the deep end and into shallow water, I devised a project for myself. I would re-decorate my craft room. Purge, arrange, color and cute up the space so I would be excited to work in there. I spent an entire two weeks that the RGH was gone doing that. And I did it without spending much money. I used a lot of what I already had laying around. Fabric for example. Baskets, bins, and the like. It turned out great and it made me happy.

That's when I started thinking about my blog. The poor, lonely blog that I had completely neglected. I wanted  to get started again but I wanted it to be less random. I needed a purpose. So I prayed. That is when the ideas started developing.

I wanted it to be about having a full life in spite of your circumstances. My circumstances are an empty nest and a lot of time by myself. Someone else might be struggling with an illness, or caring for a parent, or recovering from an accident. Or perhaps just life is your circumstances. We all have to find ways to make our life have meaning, joy, fun and purpose. 

That's what I wanted to blog about. So it might still be kind of random. I am knocking around a few ideas for challenges and stuff. But mainly, its about stuff I am doing to find fun, meaning, love and purpose. I elected to change to a new blog to get a fresh start. That's my story, folks. 

Speaking of a fresh start; how do you like my new look? It is customized for me and I love it! My friend, Felecia told me about this designer and I gave her a virtual ring and she hooked me up. Her name is Shaina Longstreet (is that the coolest name or what?) and she is awesome. I gave her a few ideas, a few colors, a few things I wanted to see and *poof* she made me a blog. Her link info is at the bottom right of the posts so give her a holler. You will love her.

Till next time...


Friday, July 22, 2011

Welcome To My New Blog!

There has been a lot of things going on for me in the past 6 months or so. I was so wrapped up in all the things I was dealing with, blogging wasn't on my list of priorities. I wanted to blog; I missed it. But there just wasn't enough hours in the day, nor did I have the energy to invest in it.

The reasons I made the decision to start a completely new blog and abandon the old one are not that complicated in the end. Getting to that realization WAS and at the end of the 'day' I  had a light bulb moment. I discovered that I was back in a place I had been before. Yet, one must still do the work even when you know the drill.

Here's the story:

Around Thanksgiving my middle daughter, Amanda discovered she was expecting their third child. We knew this was a possibility and everyone was waiting for it to happen. It was especially significant to me since Amanda has a history of pre-term labor. She was on complete bed rest from 7 months on with #1 and 4 months on with #2. Both boys were born early, #1 at thirty six weeks, #2 at thirty five weeks. So we were all pretty sure that #3 would be bed rest and an early delivery would be in the cards again.

Amanda is a kindergarten teacher. Her husband works a two week on, two week off schedule where he is away from home when working. They have two boys, 11 and 6. Enter, Gramma Vegas (that would be me).

It all began right after Christmas. I would make the 5 hour drive to California the day I took the RGH to the airport to leave for work. I spent two weeks, cooking, cleaning, taking to school, picking up from school, karate, doctor's appointments, grocery shopping, homework, and pretty much waiting on everyone hand and foot. 

At the end of two weeks, I made the 5 hour drive home, cleaned the house and picked the RGH up from the airport to spend two weeks with him. Mostly, I waited on him too, but he is a good man and cut me lots of slack. When a person has been gone for two weeks though, there is a lot of catching up to do. Mail, mail, mail! Laundry, dusting, running errands, doctor appointments, car repairs, home maintenance. Basically, I had to re-acclimate to home again every time I left and came back. 

In mid-March, I started getting sick. At first I thought it was allergies, so I just went on to California .But it hung on so long that when I got home, I went to the doctor. They said I had a sinus and ear infection, gave me antibiotics and prescription cough medicine and sent me on my way. I got a little better, but not completely well and after two weeks, I drove back to California. 

After a few days at my daughter's, it became painfully obvious that I was not well. I was concerned mainly because I didn't want Amanda or the boys to get sick. I was coughing so much, my abs were sore as if I had worked out. I went to an Urgent Care one morning after I took the boys to school. After a breathing treatment and a chest x-ray, the doctor told me I had partially treated pneumonia. Woo-Hoo! A real diagnosis!

You would think this would set off some alarms for me. Not so. I was in mommy mode. When a mom is sick, she doesn't stop being a mom. I had had an empty nest for 7 years but once I started taking care of my daughter and the boys, I reverted back to having a full nest. I wasn't thinking about Mary at all. I was thinking that I had to keep going because they all needed me.

Apparently, this did not set well with the RGH. He called my son-in-law and asked him to try and find some help so I could go home. I had considered that I might need to go home, but honestly, the drive seemed daunting and I had antibiotics. I just planned on not working as hard while I was there. This was not agreeable to my husband, and frankly, my daughter and son-in-law were kind of worried too. So I got sent home to get well.

I did get better eventually, after my regular doctor changed my antibiotic to something stronger. When the RGH came home, he didn't let me do much. He took care of things so I could recover. During that time he made me the best chili I have ever eaten. In a future post, we'll post the recipe.

Anyway, I spent the remainder of the next few months doing what moms do and on June 1st at 37 weeks, Amanda gave birth to a healthy, beautiful, baby boy.

So I was finished my hitch of caretaker for Amanda and her brood. It wasn't all stressful. We had some stellar moments; like this one:

The boys cousin and our granddaughter, Madeline came to see us!

We had a wonderful baby shower for Amanda, who enjoyed sitting up for awhile.

Grandson Gabe came to the shower with his mom, our daughter, Cindy.

We got to eat this cake.

The boys helped Gramma make Chicken and Dumplings.

We made birds nest cupcakes for Easter...

And colored eggs.

We had a few homework meltdowns...

acted up for the camera a little too.

Gramma pulled someone's tooth for them.

I decorated the nursery with a couple of our friends.

And then we went to the hospital to have a baby.
Logan Isaac

You may be asking what this has to do with changing my blog.

My next post will explain all that. I hope you come back to get the rest of the story.