Monday, September 12, 2011

Can't get enough!

It seems with each time we move I get the craving to do projects. It really all started when we moved to Colorado and we had areas that needed new furniture but we didn't have the funds to go out and buy brand new, so I decided why not find some pieces that I could put a little work into and save us a ton! Naturally when we moved to Utah we had room for more projects and I was excited to have something to take my mind of the Lonely.

This latest piece came about because for the last 2 years we have had THE UGLIEST TV stand (in my humble opinion). In our last house the t.v cutout in the wall was not large enough for our TV so my husband thought he would try his hand at salvaging...he worked at an air force base and someone mentioned to him that there was a building that was being cleaned out and that anyone was welcome to take the furniture that was left behind. "Lucky" us there was a t.v stand!! Let me just say that the t.v stand was left for a reason, but he thought "It's still functional, I am not letting it go to the trash!" so alas he brought it home and I didn't have the heart to tell him how much I disliked it, so it stayed.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I spotted the PERFECT piece at D.I for just $10, I swooped it up!! When I brought it home Jimmy's face was like "You think that is better than what we have??" but he humored me and unloaded it from the van anyway.

This past Saturday was her day in the sun!

(the doors actually had black slats or mini shutters that were breaking and I ripped them out and then remembered to take a picture)

I sanded all over and primed it and then painted the tops and sides first, leaving the front alone. Painting the front was a bit more tedious because it needed to be taped off in areas but the time was worth it in the end. As I was finishing up the last coat of paint it began to rain, now while I was under a covered porch the wind was pelting the rain into me and "The Precious" so my husband swiftly helped me move her into the garage and I decided I would have to complete her another day.

Then today I had some time once the girls were home from school to finish, I pulled out the chicken wire, wire cutters and stapler and was able to add the finishing touches pretty quickly! I really am happy with the way she looks, yes I do get quite attached to each piece, but when you have no other friends nearby they become your company. My husband was nearly shocked to see the difference and even gave me a high five, I guess he approves! Isn't she lovely?!?!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I have written a few posts but haven't posted them, am I the only one that has "post guilt"? I start thinking "oh that was way too much complaining" or "I should have saved that for my private journal" but today I am pretty sure this post will be 100% appropriate!!

I have been in a funk since our move and I have been really lonely so I decided to get myself busy with some projects and while I am still kinda "funky" I at least feel as though I got something done, WOOHOO!

The reason: In our new house there is a "formal" dining room which will never be used formally, however there is a rather large chandelier that is at the perfect height for people, ok me, to hit my head on it.

My solution: I decided to place a small round table with a few chairs and turn it into a homework table/don't hit your head on the chandelier table!

After searching a few thrift stores I finally found the perfect table, it just needed a little sprucing up.

The color was actually pretty close to what I was wanting but as you can tell from the pictures it had been neglected over the years. The best part was that I only paid $10 for the table!!

Now with many of my projects I use spray paint but since I wasn't able to find the color I wanted in spray paint I went with what turned out to be a custom color with primer from Ace hardware since they were unable to match the swatch I had found exactly. Once I had the paint I went to work.

I lightly sanded the entire table and then wiped it down with a sticky cloth to collect all the sanding dust.

(forgive me for not taking more pictures)

After I gave the table two good coats of the new paint I let it dry over night, and then my favorite part the "Aging".

When it comes to giving some age to a piece I use everything, chains, hammers, sand paper, gardening tools and anything that I might find in my garage. This is why when choosing a piece to re-finish you want it to be of sturdy wood construction otherwise it could fall apart from the abuse.

Once I had aged it sufficiently I decided that the color was just a bit too bright and needed something else, so I dug in my magic bag of tricks and found a dark wood stain that I had from another project and rubbed it gingerly over the entire table, wiping it with a clean towel as I went.

The result:
The perfect piece for the space!

(These pictures were taken with my phone so it's hard to see the detail)

Now the table was lonely without chairs so my next search was for the perfect set, again this took a few days of searching thrift stores but I finally found a matching pair that would work.

The chairs started out like this (not bad if I wanted black) the chairs were $10 each

After some sanding, primer, paint and top coat...

I completed the second chair and allowed them to dry completely, when I brought them in next to the table I still felt they needed a little something so after a conversation with a fantastic friend she gave me a great suggestion...and here are the final results

I must admit that I am kind of in love with this room now! There is something very satisfying about giving a piece of furniture a new identity and even better when it's in my house!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


My house is utter chaos right now, there are boxes in every room, in the hallways and filling the garage. Dinner has been provided by McDonald's, Chick-fil-A, Digiorno and General Mills for this week, although I did make homemade salsa last night. Lexi is off to Girls Camp for the week so Grace is the "Helper" while I pack, call to cancel milk delivery (very sad about that) and finish editing pictures from recent sessions, she is doing quite well with the exception of locking her brother in a room so he couldn't run off while she was "watching a show".....hmmm perhaps she is onto something.

I have been an emotional wreck, but I hold the tears for sad songs, commercials, television shows, taking down pictures, or when I stub my toe on the stupid chair for the 10th time..... It's also easier to cry when no one is looking so I don't have to answer questions about why I am crying. Moving again after only 2 years in Colorado has been a tough and because we have known for a while it's been a slow unravelling of denial. It just felt like we would have so much time to spend with friends and family, then I became SO sick with this pregnancy ( now18.5 weeks or 4.5 months) that 3 and half months went by where I saw no one, did nothing and now it's time to move. We leave in less than 2 weeks and all of my minutes seem to be taken up by packing, thinking about packing or discussing packing. Because this is a rental, the management company has been here quite regularly showing the house to possibles, so we take breaks to move the boxes and then just stare at them as they find their way through the labyrinth...good times.

On the upside we know where we will live once we get to Utah, so that is a good thing and we are excited about the house. We will have lots more space and the neighborhood seems quiet and filled with young families. The bonus is that I already have a few friends that live in the area and Jimmy and I both have family around, which makes it easier.

My heart aches a bit to leave all of the AMAZING friends I have in Colorado, I will miss book club, girls nights, birthday celebrations, play dates at the park and Monday, Wednesday Friday at the gym! These women welcomed me so completely when we got here and it just feels I haven't had enough time with them, they have stamped my heart and life with their service, love and laughter. I wish I could just put them all in my pocket and take them with me but I hope to get to come back for visits.

Moving brings out all my insecurities. Will I make friends? Will my kids make friends? Will they like their new schools? How long will I have to use GPS and google maps to get around? Will people like me even if I don't have blonde hair and a Bump-it??? Will I learn the language??? Huge questions that you just don't know answers to until you get there.

Even though I KNOW this is the right thing for our family, it's still hard....well these boxes won't fill themselves.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Been Wanting To

I have been wanting to update the old blog but it's been a little tricky, you see my sweet 3 year old removed ALL of the buttons from my laptop, the dear boy, and I haven't been able to recover them completely and some no longer push so well. So if you notice a missing 'F', a Comma the numbers 4 or 8 it's because pushing the little hole is a little bit of a pain. The other reason I haven't updated (if I am choosing to list my excuses, wait good idea I will list them)

Reasons I haven't blogged;
1. Missing buttons on keyboard
2. Been over the top sick with Pregnancy
3. I'm a sell out

Yes for those that haven't heard, I am a sell out, I tend to check in on the Book of Faces more these days instead of hopping from blog to blog, which at one point I enjoyed.

Oh the other little issue is this pregnancy is straight kicking my trash!! I have always said I was blessed to have had great pregnancies, I thought that by acknowledging the fact that I was blessed would protect me from said sickness while in the "family way". Apparently that tactic didn't work and this time around I have been sooooooo soooo sick, I mean morning to night nausea and on occasion sudden bouts of throwing up. I can't eat anything, well except for crackers, soup and Rice Chex cereal. I do have random times where something not easily attained will sound good and my fantastic husband has gone above and beyond, driving to places like Quiznos (there cheddar broccoli soup), Sonic (their cherry limeade and ice), Olive Garden (Minestrone soup) and Target many times for crackers and anything I can think of that I might be able to eat. Let me also say that we don't really live near anything, most places are a bit of a drive so his efforts to take care of me have been greatly appreciated. If I am in the mode of bragging let me list all the outstanding things he has done in the more than a month of time since I mostly been good for sitting on the couch and laying in bed.

Husbands Awesomeness;
1. Cleaning the house
2. Dishes
3. Laundry
4. Getting the kids to school
5. grocery shopping
6. Helping with kids homework
7. Bringing me a drink or snack
8. taking care of James during the day while working from home
9. Getting our kids to all their activities

I mean the list could go on but this gives a good example, he has turned into a full time caregiver and single parent. We live far from family and we hadn't told friends so it was all on him. He even still loves me after everything and he's sweet about helping me. I know that I am blessed to have a husband who works from home and has had the charity and love to take over all of my "normal" responsibilities without resenting me.

Things really took a nose dive when about a week and half ago I came down with a severe head cold which turned into a sinus infection, so not only am I
nauseated but I can't breathe and my head is riddled with headaches for days on end. And then our sweet 3 year old ended up in the hospital with pneumonia a few days ago, that night I managed to drag myself out of bed and be at the hospital with them while a friend stayed with the girls.

I have wondered how my husband is still standing after this many weeks of doing it all. He was already my hero but he has expanded on that notion and inspired me with his acts of selflessness and service. It's quite astonishing that he is the one doing all of these things and when I cry to him about feeling guilty for being sick or crying because I am sick he still stands in and comforts me.

The good that came from my ongoing sinus infection is that when we went to the quick care yesterday the doctor was kind enough to give me a prescription for anti-nausea medication on top of the other medications. I am really grateful for that and hope that once my sinuses clear I will be able to function better during the day relieving my honey of his posts.

I don't like to complain and I am not great at asking for help, so I feel mixed about sharing all of this because I know there are others in the world with greater hardships. That said I have to acknowledge the great man that I married, who has been a true captain in the midst of our family battle. He has kept the troops going and the fort hasn't fallen all because of his efforts and sacrifice.

(Jimmy cuddling with Buddy when he wasn't feeling so good.)

(Buddy receiving oxygen)

(Buddy waiting to have x-rays done)

I promise you don't want to see any pictures of me, but I can create a good mental one, right now I am laying in bed with my handicapped laptop, tissue shoved in my right nostril, with large gray sweat pants and a red shirt with no bra, no make up and I don't remember making it to the shower today.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thank Heaven for Little Boys!

Today was a difficult day. I don't really know how to begin to say what I want to say. I am a little rusty, and overwhelmed with emotion, perhaps I will let my heart lead the way.

The months leading up to Christmas I was deeply struggling, I was admittedly lost and off course, and then I heard about a 5 year old little boy named Ayden in my ward who was suffering from cancer and was in the hospital. I asked my friends who had been organizing meals for his family while they stayed with him in the hospital, if I could prepare a meal for them also. I knew that I needed to get out of my own head and put myself in a posistion to serve, and yet I had no idea how it would change me.

The day came for me to make a meal and I was collecting the ingredients on my kitchen counter when my an amazingly in-tune friend called and asked me if I would like to go with her to take the meal to the family, (initially I was just going to drop it to her). I had never met them, and I was nervous, but I couldn't turn down the opportunity to deliver dinner myself. We quietly entered his room in a special wing of the Childrens Hospital, the lights were dimmed and his mother sat at the end of his bed playing cards with him. He didn't speak but his spirit nearly knocked me off my feet, this little boy lay there with tubes and was so uncomfortable and yet he was sweet and shy. My favorite moments were when his mother would be speaking of him and he would close his eyes and then peek to see if we were still there, almost as if he were thinking "They are talking about me again?" His sweet mother Amber amazed me, she told us how their wish was that he would be well enough to come home for Christmas so she could play Wii with him. We stayed for just a little while and then we headed home again, but the visit stayed with me, Ayden and Amber stayed with me.

A few days later Ayden regained strength enough to return home for Christmas and then on December 29, 2010 he passed away. I was in Las Vegas when I heard the news and I cried, thinking of his mother, father and baby sister and how they must miss him so much. I felt grateful to have had the opportunity to meet him. If this little boy and his family could be so brave and filled with faith in the midst of this terrible illness and ultimate loss, I knew I needed to pull myself together. Ayden was such an example to me, I know that taking that dinner helped ME more than it helped them, I am sure. Thank you sweet angel boy.


Last evening I was able to spend some much needed time with my girlfriends, and as usual I was home after mid-night. Then first thing this morning I received a text from a friend requesting me to call her. My stomach sank a bit when she answered the phone with a saddened voice, saying "Have you heard?", "No." I said and then she told me that our dear friend Annie, whom had just been sitting next to me on the couch hours before had returned home to find her sweet 5 year old son Ethan was gone, she went to check on him and he had passed away. Ethan has had medical problems since he was tiny, but he was such a joy, his smile could melt my heart. I looked forward to seeing him every week at church because he just smiled all of the time, just like his mama. My heart is broken for them and I can only imagine the sorrow Annie and her husband Justin must be feeling. Oh sweet Ethan, I still can't believe that I won't see you in the halls at church, I think he was the most popular person in our ward because everyone loved him so.


These two little boys have touched my life and I am positive all those that were blessed to have met them would say the same. They are missed and loved and all I have are my prayers and love to send to each of their families.

I have a fondness for little boys, and I thank Heaven for sending one to my home. They love their mamas like no other. I didn't fully appreciate why it's so hard for mothers to send them on Missions or to College or to get married until I had my little buddy. James will be 3 on Monday and I must say that the last 3 years have been some of the best in the Kelley house.

(James playing the harmonica first thing in the morning)

Thank Heaven for little boys.