Adding Color

Before we moved to our apartment I spent a lot of time on Pinterest and Apartmenttherapy. I’m talking A LOT of time! Like obsessive amounts. It was exciting and overwhelming at the same time. I didn’t know if I could pull off the design styles I liked, and while EVERYTHING looks easy on Pinterest I am well aware that they are not. But instead of doing what I normally do…assume I am incapable, I decided to try it. I was going to make this place a combination of ME and B because really it was going to be OUR first place together. Yes he moved into my house and it became our home, but this lease has BOTH our names on it. So I included him by bombarding him with picture after picture of design that I thought reflected us both. And he took it like a champ! He even helped me paint HIS furniture cause I thought it would look good. It doesn’t look bad either. I mean look at that bookcase! It used to be brown! And the graphic novels are B’s addition to our decor.

Bookcase After

 

As is the Taxi Driver poster which is obviously not mine.

Bookcase wall After

 

One of the design elements we are both super excited about is our gallery wall. It’s a culmination of our favorite band and other art work (yes there is some kid art in there, in fact it’s sprinkled throughout our home) with a touch of movie art.

Living Room Gallery After

 

We wanted to add color to our home without painting, because that would mean painting again before moving and from experience the last thing anyone wants to do when moving is paint a place you won’t be living in anymore. The gallery wall was our solution.

It’s been a fun challenge bringing two different tastes together and blending them to create the right balance, making a home for us that we want to come home to. Oh and I have so many more ideas! Just you wait!

 

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The “Grounded” Family

According to Merriam-Webster the word “grounded” is used to describe a person who is sensible and has a good understanding of what is really important in life. I really appreciate that definition. In fact I’d like to say I relate to that definition. However the word “grounded” has had a very different meaning in my house lately.

Ever feel like all of your kids’ brain cells have gone on the fritz at the same time? I mean, there’s one child I expect it from, but ALL THREE?! AT THE SAME TIME?!! How is this fair? What did I do to deserve this? (Pity party begins.) I have gotten used to grounding the youngest. He is an independant, strong-willed, boundary pushing child. Lately if he isn’t grounded it’s momentus. That’s why when I got the call from his teacher I wasn’t shocked. Instead I was thinking what can I take away now? He’s already grounded! Apartently a mom of one of the girls in his class emailed the teacher saying her daughter and 3 of her friends heard him say the “C” word with definition. WHERE would he have even learned that word? It’s NEVER said in the house. I asked the teacher if she had ever used the soap-in-the-mouth method (on her own children, not her students…relax) and if so what kind of soap did she recommend.

That was a Thursday and yes I did stick a bar of soap in his mouth, but only for 15 secs cause MA had me worried that any longer and he’d have diarreah for days! He didn’t like it. AND he had to write an apology letter to his teacher. Nevertheless, relief was in my sights because his dad was going to have him ALL weekend and I would get a break…so I thought.

B and I shot a wedding that Saturday so we were on our feet from the time we woke until past midnight. I had already designated Sunday as my cleaning day and thats when I found it. I walked into the twins’ room and there was a piece of paper on the floor with and arrow drawn on it, “For mom” written under the arrow. It pointed to 2 more papers turned upside down. I turned them over to discover that they were letters from the boys and under the letters were their report cards. Before I read the first sentnce I knew. They had both done so poorly I wondered what planet the pod people came from that had obviously inhabited my kids’ bodies! J has never NOT been on the A/B honor roll and G had finally gotten on the A/B honor roll last quarter only to have one of those A’s drop to an F! WHAT?!!! Or more appropriately, WTF?!!! The letters gave me all the excuses as to why this happened. I actually teared up I was that shocked.

You know that advice you get to sleep on things and give yourself time to cool off? Well they came home that night so there was no sleeping on it, but I did cool off. Especially when I was taking their TV and XBox out of their room. And when they walked in the door and I confiscated thier ipods. (Insert minanical laugh here.)

I was going to write about the down side of grounding like the constant complaining that they don’t know what to do and they’re bored. Or them following me around. Or the increase in arguing without the distractions of technology. But instead I decided to list some of the benefits (end scene on the Pity Party):

1. I have a tv and xbox that I use every day to watch my shows.
2. B has a tv and xbox to play Walking Dead.
3. They have done a ton more reading and drawing and playing music. (Go creativity, Go!)
4. With their earlier bed times I have more ME/US time.
5. I’ve been able to see more of them and their personalities and have come to realize they’re pretty funny. That silly little kids humor is turning into HAHA humor (at least for me).

Oh and E is no longer grounded…for the moment.

A Train Table Gets A Second Life

 

Balcony seat before1

There has been some debate in my family as to who actually built this train table for my twins when they were little, but I’m sticking to my guns in saying it was my brother, R. If it wasn’t him and someone else wants to take the credit then please do and I apologize for forgetting. It has been at least 10 years though and I am quickly approaching 40 so…

I found this in the storage space under the sun room when I was doing the final clean out of the house. For a half second I thought about recycling it with the rest of the stuff I pulled out of all the hidden nooks and crannies, but in the next half of that second I realized it was well built and I could make something out of it. So I brought it to the apartment along with a side railing of a crib once occupied by one of the twins and later by E, and the cushions from  a couch I was trying to give away and went to work. And by work I mean I went to Joanne’s Fabrics to get 2 yards of fabric.

Balcony seat fabric

After cleaning off the wood (it was quite dusty) and taking apart the cushions which I then cut up to fit on the ply wood…

Balcony seat cushions

B and I stretched the fabric over the cushions, turned the whole thing upside down and went to town with our new toy staple gun.

Balcony seat stapling

Thankfully the lines on the cushion remained straight so that the result looked like this:

Balcony seat complete

Add a few toss pillows and VIOLA!

Balcony seat with pillows

Now all I need to do is paint it! (Sigh) That’s for another day!

Name Changing Dilemma

It’s that time again…Drivers License renewal time! Come to think of it this is the first time I am having to renew my license since I moved to NC in 2005. And it’s my 40th Birth year. WOW! Lots of change going on. Which leads to my latest dilemma….to change my name or not to change my name.

I have a memory stuck in my head of getting ready for my roommate’s wedding in Wilmington, NC on November 5th (I think that was the exact date) when I received a phone call from my Attorney asking me if I was planning on changing my name to my maiden name. The question caught me off guard. She needed to know that day since she was preparing paperwork to be filed the following Monday. I asked if I could call her back and immediately called MA. I asked her to confirm that keeping my married name for the kids was for the best, after all I’d heard of kids having to explain why they had a different last name than their mother and I didn’t want to put my kids through any unnecessary stress. She encouraged me to go with my gut and so the name stayed. And I think I did the right thing…then.

Now…the kids are adjusted to the situation and seem perfectly at peace and I REALLY don’t want the same last name as my EX. Not that I don’t love some of his family members as if they were my own. And not that I don’t want to be linked to my kids by sharing their name. I just don’t identify as that person anymore. I don’t even like saying my last name when I introduce myself. And I like my maiden name. It’s who I first identified myself as and it’s who I still am today.

So why even suggest that there’s a dilemma, right? I mean, it seems like I’ve got the answer in the bag so to speak. Eh, not so much. It’s not easy to change your name. There are several documents that need to be filled out and taken to different places in particular steps within a particular time. And there is a cost. Not a huge cost, but a cost just the same. And I have to renew my license SOON (which has it’s own cost). Plus, there is someone special in my life (duh!) with whom there may have been discussions of getting married one day, but NOT before my license expires! So, again, do I go through all the work to change my name only to have to change it AGAIN in the near-ish future?

And now the fun part! I am posing the question to you. Do you think I should change my name back to my maiden name? Keep my married name? Or wait to one day be remarried?

Will It NEVER End?!

I thought by now, on the brink of turning 30…haha I mean 40, I wouldn’t have much left to discover about myself only to discover I know nothing!

When I started this blog I was on a mission to unveil the beauty of the ordinary woman because I myself had always felt ordinary, at least until I went through a divorce. It wasn’t until then I realized I had a lot to offer, but I hadn’t been able to see through the dislike I had for myself which was constantly being fueled by the critical nature of my EX. (I don’t put the blame on him for this, his criticalness is his problem, my insecurities were mine. We simply were not a good match.) While I was going through that time of really getting to know myself and discovering things I liked about myself, I thought I had it all figured out. What my strengths were (encouraging, supportive, able to see both sides, diplomatic, administrative),  what role I was supposed to play in my career path (admin/personal assistant) and what limitations I had to deal with (motherhood, indecisiveness, lack of creativity). Just the fact that I have more traits listed under strengths than limitations is a HUGE improvement on my former self perspective. But I wasn’t anywhere close to having it all figured out.

Three years later I look completely different. I still have a lot of the same strengths and admin assistant was a good role for me, the difference is in the realization I am capable of more than I ever imagined. My career has taken a slight turn to Human Resource-ville, which I love (not at all unbelievably since it requires all of the strengths listed above), but I have also become a co-owner of Wrinkled Blanket Media and a videographer! ME! A VIDEOGRAPHER! Who would have thunk it! I have also recently fallen in love with DIY design (see Exhibit A) and recorded my first mini-sode podcast with B! ABOUT A HORROR MOVIE! ME! This is just too much…fun!

EXHIBIT A: A little something I made to hold my jewelry.

Jewelry Bar After

Who am I and what have I done with that oldish mom without creativity?! How can I not have known about my love of design until now? Why did I waste all that money (of which I am still paying) on an education that has nothing to do with my current career nor my future career? Why did I marry someone so wrong for me at such a young age? Why is hind sight so stinking CLEAR?!

None of those questions matter because I can’t change any of that. I can, however, move forward and enjoy the journey. I’m sure there is still a lot to learn and discover about myself. Who knows? One day I may discover I love to write! And you know what? I’m not any more special than anyone else so this experience isn’t limited to me. I just hope when it happens for you it’s early enough to make those student loans worth it!

Interesting fact:
Most of the privileges and responsibilities of adulthood are legally granted by the age of 18 but a growing body of science says that critical parts of the brain involved in decision-making are not fully developed until years later at age 25 or so.