We had a lovely weekend at Little Chateau in Eureka Springs, AR. We spent the days walking around downtown and exploring other touristy destinations and spent the nights drinking wine. A little too much wine on my part but let's not dwell on that, shall we? Let's just say there is a reason I can't don't drink heavily very often these days. The next day is not pretty.

We went south with our dear and friends Alyssa (my cousin) and Brian (Justin's BFF) and stayed at the cutest little cottage run by our friend Rodney (Justin's other BFF). Downtown Eureka Springs is filled with sweet shops and restaurants. The weather was cool but not too cold and the sun was shining bright. On Saturday afternoon, we hit up a large cat refuge where we saw lions and tigers. Bears were thrown in for good measure, too. We explored a cave which sounds cool in theory but with a 22-pound toddler strapped to your person, it wasn't the greatest experience of my life thus far. Gracyn didn't love being underground where she wasn't able to run wild and she was only happy if I was carrying her so by the end of the hour-long tour we were both sweaty and tired. Still, we had a great weekend and memories were made and I guess that's all that matters, right? Right!

Happy Birthday + other randomness

Ah, Friday. Finally.


Happy Birthday to my daddio! Hope you have the best day evahhhh! We love you!


Spring has sprung. After the longest winter known to mankind, it's officially spring. Now we just need the warmer temps to stick around longer than one day at a time! 


Baby moccasins. Gracyn needs these and she needs them bad. Problem is, I cannot bring myself to pay $60 for a pair when her feet seem to be growing like cray-cray. I've only heard good things about them and I know they're worth the cash but it's still a little steep. Instead, I'm entering any and every giveaway in hopes of winning a pair for my girl. No luck yet but that won't stop me!


We're making headway with staining our new lattice and were almost ready to start staining the deck sometime this century. We're gone the next few weekends but hopefully well have this little project done before summer comes and it's a million degrees outside.


Eureka! We're off to Eureka Springs, Arkansas after work tonight for a little weekend getaway and some much needed R&R. We've been camping down by Eureka Springs one other time and it is the most charming town. Excited to explore and relax!

Linking up with the best. I suggest you do the same!

DIY :: Dining Room Do-Over Part II

Finally....some "after" pics of our dining room makeover! The room still feels a little bare but accessorizing and getting a few more things hung up will come with time I'm sure. You can find Part I here in case you need to re-cap what this room looked like before we shed the red.

So much better, right?! It was cloudy and snowing (Seriously. It was snowing today. Yesterday it was 70 degrees and today it snowed. Ew.) today and the room still looked this bright and cheery. It makes me happy.

Here's a run down of what we did:

  • painted baseboards & trim
  • painted walls (Behr Pewter Gray)
  • new light fixture
  • new curtains
  • new outlets, light switches and covers
  • moved some furniture around and {finally} added some family photos

I'm not 100% sure if I'll keep the ladder shelf in the room or not. There definitely needs something to be in that space but it can't be too big. If I decide to keep it there, I think I'm going to paint it. Stay tuned.

We're looking for something to go in the corner by the mirror, too. This is the part of the room that feels bare. Not sure why but it just needs something. I'm thinking a beverage cart like this one but cheaper. Way cheaper.  

So far I'm really happy with how the room turned out. So much better than the red. We don't use this room very often but we pass by it or walk through it multiple times a day. It makes a huge difference and we didn't break the bank sprucing it up, which is a plus.

On to the next project! One of the pulls fell off the kitchen cabinet tonight so maybe that's next? We'll see!

It's all fun and games until someone shits on the carpet...

Warning: if you are easily grossed out or have some sort of problem with the words "poop" or "shit" I advise you proceed with caution...

I was going to sit down last night and type out a Five on Friday post for this morning because linking up and finding new blogs has become an obsession of mine lately but I got a little distracted.

A lot of things come along with having a baby and raising kids. The good, the bad and the ugly. I'm no expert and I know I've only been at this for a little over a year now but I've seen my fair share of all three. Mostly good, mind you, but last night it got ugly. And by ugly, I mean shitty. Literally.

You see, Gracyn hadn't pooped in 2 days. Not a huge deal but she's pretty regular and for her to not go for a couple of days was a little unusual. And when you're a mom, you notice things like your kid not pooping. She didn't seem to be bothered by this or anything like that but I gave her a little juice with dinner hoping this would move things along, if you will. 

After dinner, Gracyn played while I cleaned up the kitchen. She got weirdly quiet so I went to find her. I turned the corner to see her standing very still and concentrating very hard. 


Good! She finished doin' her thang and we went upstairs to take a bath. We got up to her room and I peeled off her clothes down to her diaper. A very loaded diaper.

She ran towards her bookshelf while I put her dirty clothes in the laundry basket. As she was walking, she lost her balance and stumbled backwards and fell...

...straight on her bottom...

...with so much force...

...that SHIT literally exploded. Everywhere.

A shit bomb had just gone off.

I turn around to see poop surrounding my little girl. I immediately start sweating and pacing the room to figure out how I'm going to handle this one. She, of course, is just sitting there reading her book like nothing happened.

I yell for Justin.
No answer.

I take the book away.
She gets mad.

I try to soothe her without touching her because, well, there's shit everywhere.
Doesn't work.

She stands up.
No, please do not stand up.

She does a little dance IN THE POOP.
Feet now covered in poop.

She takes off towards the hallway.

Poopy footprints now cover the carpet.

I dodge the poop-prints and catch up to the poop-monster. I grab hold of her by the armpits, holding her body as far away from my person as I can.

I yell for Justin again, desperately asking for help and I make it to the bathroom to hose off the baby. Justin comes into the bathroom and I try to describe what I had just witnessed.

He stays with the baby to finish the bath while I arm myself with paper towels, stain remover and carpet cleaner. I spend the next half hour of my life scrubbing human poop stains out of the carpet and trying to mask the smell of shit that now permeates the 2nd floor of my house.

I'm happy to say everything was cleaned up and the smell dissipated over the course of the rest of the evening. I'm sure this won't be the last time I'm cleaning up poop and we've dealt with blowouts before but a blowout + a mobile toddler is a whole 'nother ballgame.

Next time I'll be sure to change her dipe right away. And maybe serve a little less juice, amiright?

By the way, these pictures have nothing to do with my story today but I wanted to post them because we've had a few nice days this week and exploring the world between our driveway and the mailbox after we get home in the evenings has been lovely.

And they helped break up all of the shit, no?

Happy weekend!

Gracyn's Birth Story

Even though I'm {almost} 14 months late on this one, I wanted to make sure I typed up Gracyn's birth story on the ol' blog for future reference. I wrote a little bit of it down in the off-line journal I'm keeping for her but figured I could take a jog down memory lane once more before any more time passes and I end up forgetting everything. I'll spare you the gory details (because there aren't any, really) and try to keep it short (yeah right...).

I should start by saying that I had a very easy pregnancy. I know, I know - hate me now - but I want to remember that part because I am certain that any future pregnancy will come at me full-force. A girl can only be so lucky and I'm pretty sure I used up every ounce of luck I had when I got pregnant with G. I was mentally prepared for nausea and extreme fatigue and more nausea but I had none of that. The only reason I took a pregnancy test was because we were going out to dinner with friends and alcoholic beverages were going to be consumed and I thought I should be responsible and take a test just in case. It came back positive in, like, 2 seconds and I spent the next 37 minutes trying to comprehend how that was even possible because I felt so "normal".

Fast forward to my due date. I never felt any Braxton Hicks contractions and at my 40 week appointment I was "maybe" 1 cm dilated. Baby girl was goin' nowhere fast. That was a Friday (the 18th) and I was scheduled to be induced the following Tuesday evening. I spent the next few days waddling around the house, baking cookies, cleaning and not going into labor.
whoa, mama
We had to be at the hospital by 8pm Tuesday (the 22nd) and I knew I wouldn't be able to eat after that so beforehand, Justin and I went out to dinner and stuffed our faces with glorious sushi rolls and edamame. We checked into the hospital and got situated in our room. I was given some medicine that would work overnight with plans to start pitocin in the morning.
40 weeks, 4 days
My pitocin drip was started around 7:30 the next morning (23rd) and we waited for contractions to start. And waited. And waited. I'm not sure what I expected. Maybe I irrationally thought contractions were supposed to start immediately (I have no idea, I've never done this before!) but they didn't. In fact, I wasn't really feeling any different than before. The doctor broke my water around 8:30 am and we waited some more. I think I noticed my first contraction around 10 or 11 that morning but they were really irregular. Some would be only seconds long, others seemed to go on for a minute or two and they were coming at weird intervals.

By 1pm they were stronger but still irregular. I was checked for the first time around 1:30 (I think) and I was only at 1 cm. Hold up. I was 1cm 5 days ago. No progress. Sweet.

I'm all about pain meds so I was given some medication so I could try and take a nap. I rested awhile and was still feeling pretty good about myself. Contractions intensified and at 3pm I was dilated to 2 cm. At this rate, baby would be born in approximately 137 hours. Only a 2!? Ok, then...

The lovely nurse offered up the epidural and I happily obliged. I sat up for the anesthesiologist, swung my legs over the side of the bed, hunched my back and proceeded to pee my pants. Not literally but I felt this huge gush of water...

"Um...I think I'm peeing? But I can't stop... What's going on? So sorry, but it's getting on your shoes..."

Apparently I had a "second" bag of water break when I sat up. The nurse saw this as a good sign - now that it was out of the way, baby girl would have plenty of room and could come on out. It won't be long now! I hit the button on my epidural drip a few times, waited for it to kick in, sat back and relaxed while an internal monitor kept track of the timing and intensity of the contractions.

The next few hours looked like this:

4pm - 3cm
5pm - 3cm
6pm - maybe 4cm
7pm - 4cm
8pm - 4cm

The doctor came in around 8:30 pm to check on me. According to the monitor, my contractions were strong and regular which theoretically should mean that labor was progressing. I was stuck at 4 and it didn't seem like I was going to get further than that.

The doctor gave us two options:

  1. Wait it out to see if baby girl would come on her own. We'd have several more hours of labor, at least, with an even longer night ahead of us that might end with in a c-section - OR -
  2. Move ahead with the c-section now and still have a long night ahead of us but with an adorable newborn to cuddle and love(!)
My doctor would support us either way so Justin and I talked about it for a few minutes to weigh our options. We'd been at the hospital for 24 hours already and I wasn't even half way there yet. I know the 2nd half of labor sometimes goes faster than the first but my body seemed to just stop at 4cm. Even though I hadn't had a hard labor or anything like that, I was tired and ready for the next part. We decided to move forward with the c-section right away.

Instant. Tears. As soon as I told the doctor our decision, I started crying an ugly cry that you never want anyone to see you cry. I wasn't sad that I had to have a c-section - honestly, I went into this whole childbirth thing with zero expectations. I didn't have a birth plan typed out or anything like that - obviously both my doctor and I wanted the safest delivery for me and the baby and that meant doing whatever had to be done in order to keep us both healthy. If a c-section had to happen, I wasn't going to fight it. I was so nervous about having surgery - hence the tears. I'd never been in the hospital before now, let alone have surgery. Combine that with raging hormones and what do you get? The ugly cry.

We called our parents to let them know what was going on and by 8:45 pm - 15 minutes after we decided on the c-section - I was being rolled back into the operating room. It's about to get real, folks!
Justin was with me the whole time, looking fine in his scrubs. He was armed with the camera and I told him that, no matter what, as soon as the baby was born to stay with her the whole time. Assuming she was 100% healthy, I knew she'd be in the room with us the entire time but I was crazily demanding that Justin not leave her side. Who cares about me - stay with the baby!

Justin was a little nervous too. He didn't want to "see anything" - meaning my insides - so he was instructed to stay behind the curtain. Once the baby was born, he could move to the front of the room while they cleaned her up. Surgery was ready to start and by this time I was shaking pretty badly due to the epidural. My doctor did some test "pokes" to see if I was numb. I swore to them that I could feel it and to please wait a few more minutes but she was already cutting. So..ok, we're having a baby!

At 9:37 pm on January 23, 2013, our precious Gracyn Alyssa was born weighing in at almost 8 pounds and 19.5 inches long.

Even with the c-section, the doctor still had to use the vacuum thingy to get her out. Apparently she was very comfy in the ol' womb and was trying her best to stay put. 

Justin went over to Gracyn as soon as she came out and would then run back to my bed to make sure I was OK and to tell me what she looked like. I kept shooing him away to go take more pictures so he didn't miss anything. He later admitted that while going back and forth, he caught a glimpse of my innards and almost freaked a little bit but he did so great throughout the whole thing.

She was finally here! We had to force her out but she was here! The next few days in the hospital were spent recovering and loving on our girl.

I will wrap this up, seeing as how I've written a novel. Gracyn's birth story is a rather uneventful one (thank goodness!) and I'm glad I finally took the time to write type it all down. The last 14 months have been a whirlwind but we are the luckiest people in the world to have this little lady for a daughter.

DIY :: Dining Room Do-Over Part I

We've lived in our house almost 4.5 years and I've painted the dining room 3 times. When we first moved in, we gave pretty much every room a fresh coat. The dining room had a nice chair rail and two-toned walls, which weren't great but they weren't terrible either.
We painted the top half a nice tan that we went wild with and painted throughout the entire house. We re-painted the bottom half similar to the existing color just for kicks.

Fast forward a year (maybe two? I'm not sure…) and we were finally ready to buy a dining room table and utilize the space. But hold on! I must paint again! This time - RED! Yes, red in the dining room. Red is supposed to induce your appetite and help you enjoy your food or so I read online…

I also decided to remove the chair rail while I was at it which was a project in and of itself…
remove, patch, sand, repeat.
Chair rail gone. Bring on the red.
red like whoa... 
A little overwhelming, no? And it doesn't help that the walls actually look pink in these pics but you get the gist - bold, in yo' face red.

Once the paint dried and furniture was delivered it looked a little better. Here it is set for Christmas Eve dinner, one of the handful of times we've actually dined in said dining room:
A few weeks ago I randomly decided that I was hating the red. I mean, it's red. Nothing else in my house (besides Justin's "OU" room, which has a single red wall that he got so excited about setting up when we moved in...) is red. I don't wear red. I don't really consider red to be my color. I'm more of a neutral gal. Tans, blues, grays fill the other rooms of our cozy little home.

I knew I wanted the room bright and light so I scoured Pinterest for ideas and kept an eye out for curtains that could serve as a jumping off point. I found some at Kohls which were on sale (obvi) and Justin agreed that they'd look good in the room. I looked through a bajillion paint swatches, hung up the curtains and decided they matched the original tan of the room pretty perfectly. 

In case you've fallen asleep (and I don't blame you) as this is the longest post everrr, here is a recap - 
  1. We've lived here 4.5 years
  2. 3rd time painting this room and
  3. Painting it the tan for the 2nd time…
It seems a little counterproductive and I should have just left the damn room alone in the first place. Oh well. Onward with the makeover!

In addition to painting the walls, I knew I wanted to paint the baseboards white. We did this when we were getting Gracyn's nursery ready and it made the entire room look updated and fresh. Eventually we'd like to paint the trim throughout the entire house so I figured the d-room would be a good place to start.

When is the best time to start a room makeover, you ask? Well, 3 o'clock on a Sunday afternoon, of course! Precisely 30 minutes before the baby wakes up from her nap and at which point she will need you to cuddle, get a snack, change a diaper, get juice, maybe cuddle again and NOT paint baseboards.

With J's help, I got the room prepped and ended up getting the baseboards painted (three coats of shiny, pearly white) and a single wall primed.
Over the course of the week following that fateful Sunday, I got the rest of the room primed and was ready to go to town with Round 2 of tan-ageddon when lo' and behold, Justin decides he's having reservations about going tan yet again.

I think his actual words were, "It's just…a lot of tan…"

Welp. Back to the drawing board - or in this case, the curtains. I went into the garage and pulled out the left-over cans of paint we had from when we painted other rooms in the house. A light blue that we used in our family room and a gray that we used in Gracyn's room. We slapped some of each on the wall and decided to go with Behr's Pewter Mug- the same color we used in G's room.

Ok, NOW we're ready to paint! Two coats of Pewter Mug did the trick and the room was looking as good as new.

This post is getting out of hand and is tooooo long. I think I'm going to split it up seeing as how I started this project 2 weeks ago and it's still not done and to be honest, I'm not sure when it'll be finished! We're making progress - a new light fixture has been added and I'm deciding what to hang on the walls and things like that. If you follow me on Insta you can see more snapshots of the progress with a few pics of G thrown in for good measure because I'm obsessed with 'gramming my life.

Stay tuned for Part II. I'll be sure to post the "after" pics once everything is put together and the room is presentable again!