Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Big Reveal!

 It's FINALLY finished! As many of you know, half of the reason I started this blog was to share my crafts with everyone...well, my first big blog project is finally finished! I love, love, LOVE how they turned out! I used a Rust-Oleum cabinet kit to do this project. I started out using the "Linen" colored kit, but after the two coats that it calls for, my cabinets were not completely covered and they were too white. I took my cabinet into the Home Depot that I brought the kit from, and they kindly gave me a new free kit in "Quilter's White". The kit was free because the color on the swatch looked nothing like the color that my cabinets turned out. After applying two more coats, my cabinets were finally the right coat of topcoat and they were perfect! I HIGHLY recommend a Rust-Oleum restoration kit if you are going to redo your cabinets, BUT be careful...if you choose to do them a light color you may need to buy two kits (they do not sell separate cans of the paint).
To do my cabinets I had to:
  1. Remove all doors and hardware. Make SURE to number your doors....also don't forget that they are numbered if you start moving them around (I kept forgetting my number stickers everywhere, made for an interesting install!)
  2. Clean all doors and cabinets with lint-free towel.
  3. Scrub cabinets and doors with deglosser (you do this instead of sanding...however I did end up sanding a little).
  4. Wash cabinets down again with lint free towel and water.
  5. Apply bond coat (paint). They say you should only need two, I needed 4.
  6. Apply topcoat.
  7. Let dry 24 hours then rehang doors and enjoy!

 I really love how this project turned out, however it was VERY time consuming! If you have a lot of patience (and extra time) it is a really cheap way to redo your kitchen! I'm looking forward to getting our new counters and backsplash in, then our little kitchen remodel will be complete!

Thanks for reading!


Girlfriends are a Gift

Hello all! Thank you for keeping up with my blog, I love being able to express myself through this outlet! I promise I will post kitchen pictures today (finally)...but I also really want to write today about the importance of girlfriends. In my original postpartum OCD story (my first blog post) I kind of glossed over a real turning point in my recovery. One of the single most vital parts to my fight against OCD was my outpatient treatment. Outpatient was a 3 week program that I went to 4 days a week that included group therapy, individual therapy and meeting with a psychiatrist to get the appropriate medicines. This program was really a lifesaver for me, but I would have never done it without the support of my girlfriends.

I truly have the best friends in the world. With a husband that travels often, my girlfriends have really become my family. The best part of being so close with my girlfriends is that half of them live on my street! It's like having a supportive community right outside my door. They are there for me when I need a shoulder to cry on or just someone to vent to. During the time when my anxiety was the highest, I didn't know what to do. I felt helpless and trapped. I was scared to be home alone with the boys and was completely convinced I had suddenly become dangerous. It was terrible. I would get some relief when my husband was home, but was always anxiously anticipating what would happen when he went back to work.

One weekend I was supposed to go across the street to a wedding reception with my neighbors. I walked over and walked through the door, set down our gift, and walked right back to my house. I went behind into our sandbox and just started crying. I couldn't even hang out with my friends anymore, I was at rock bottom. That night, my neighbor Bridget came over. She asked me what I needed. What could make me better. I mentioned an outpatient program I had heard about from my therapist, but knew I wouldn't be able to bring both of the boys with me to it. She said I needed to go, even if it meant Joel not working for a bit.

I still saw no way the outpatient program would work. I also hate asking for help, so I kind of decided I would just tough it out and hope that my problem would go away. It didn't. The next day, I was having an especially hard morning, I was truly miserable and crying 24/7...that is when everything changed. Bridget had told my other neighbor Sara about the outpatient program. Sara texted me and offered to watch Brayden so I could attend the program. Before she texted me I had decided there was no way I could go to the program, her offering to watch him was the push I needed to get more help. Once I had Brayden's care figured out (which I would have never been able to do without great friends (2 Jessicas)), I was finally able to focus on getting myself better. Going somewhere everyday where people truly understood my problems, and finally being put on medication that worked was exactly what I needed to begin getting better.

I'm so grateful for my supportive friends. They are always there for me when I need them and they truly care about me and my family. Going through postpartum OCD has been the hardest thing I have done in my entire life, but I truly believe I have had such a great recovery because of the supportive people I have been blessed with in my life. I will be forever appreciative to my friends for helping me during such a difficult time, so even if I don't say it as much as I should, thanks girls!

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

5 Ways a Mother's Love Trumps All Others

As I write my post today, there is a little baby snoring in my ear and it is the best sound in the world. It is hard to express in words the way that having children has changed me. I'm most comfortable hiding  behind sarcasm and jokes, so transitioning from that into a role of a protective and loving mother has been life-changing. I haven't always been the lovey touchy-feely type, but with them I am...with them I want to be. I want to be the one who comforts them. I want to be the one they feel safe with. I want to be the one they run to in the night if they are scared. With them I want to be better, I want to be different. As I was thinking about the ways that motherhood has changed me, I thought about the way that I love them. I love them in a way that I love no one else. I put up with things from them I would definitely not put up with from anyone else. I decided it would be fun to put together a little list of how my love is different with them than with anyone else, feel free to comment on ways that you notice your love is different with your kids too!

  1. They are child geniuses: When I look at my children, I see the smartest kids on earth. As Easton was getting ready to nap today, he started sucking his thumb. I honestly thought "he is so smart, he knows how to comfort himself by sucking his thumb at the same time every day." Yes, I can imagine your eyes rolling right now, but at the same time I'm sure you have experienced the same type of thoughts with your own children. The most mundane event is suddenly a feat of epic proportions that only your superchild could accomplish.
  2. They are always the most attractive children on earth: My children could be covered from head to toe in snot and dirt, probably in their underwear (lets be honest, you know by now they usually don't wear clothes), and I would only see beauty. Because I'm their mom, when I look at them I don't see their flaws, I see their dad and me (okay, mostly their dad). I see how our love created these two amazing boys. Sometimes, I honestly feel like I am wearing love-colored glasses when I look at them because I know that to me, they will always be the best looking guys in the room.
  3. I will take anything they hand to me, anything: I only wish I could count on one hand the number of times Brayden has handed me his boogers or chewed up food, but it has been too many. I promise you this, I only accept these horrible gifts from my kids. From anyone else, these items would make my gag reflex kick in, but from my kids I can handle it (as long as I can wipe it on my pants). Now that is love.
  4. I forgive them instantly: Last night I told Brayden he could have one cookie after dinner. When I went upstairs to check on him before I went to bed, I found the entire BOX of cookies in bed with him. I was pissed. This morning I talked to him about it and with one sugar covered "I'm so sorry mommy" my anger disappeared. I don't know how these kids do it, but I have the hardest time being mad at them (I'm sure the teenage years will prove otherwise).
  5. They make me want to be better: When I was younger and I made a bad decision, it would only affect me, but with children my decisions affect an entire family. Every choice I make, I try to ensure that it is the right one. I'm constantly aware of the example I am setting for them and I constantly do my best to make sure that they see me as a positive role model who cares for them. My days are completely devoted to these kids, I sure hope they see how much I love them through my words and actions!
Thanks so much for reading, please share the weird ways you show your kids love in the comment section or on my FB page!


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Springtime and New Hope

Hello all! I know, I know...rule #1 of starting a new blog...don't leave it without a new post for a month! My bad. To be honest, there are two reasons I haven't blogged lately...and no, I'm not quitting! The first reason was that I got totally immersed in my cabinet project. It was all I thought about! SUCH a big project, and thisclose to being finished. I have to hang one more cabinet (I dropped the screw down a hole) and I have to paint my pantry door (should be finished this weekend). The cabinet project was not without its setbacks...the color was too white and I ended up needing four coats of paint plus a yes, it took a lot of time! The second reason I have been away is very different...

As you can tell from my first post, I have postpartum OCD. OCD isn't simply something that is quickly cured with a couple trips to therapy and medicine. It lingers. Mine lingers. My thoughts go wild. Most of the time it doesn't bother me much anymore, but every once in a while I have a setback. My therapist expects it, that doesn't make it easier. I wish, wish, wish my biggest worry was Easton eating day-old Cheerios off of the floor (yum), but that doesn't make me flinch. My OCD forces my mind to think of the worst case scenario in every situation. I think of accidents: what if my car slides off of the road and goes into the river. How do I get both of the kids out? What if I get one out and the other one gets carried away with the current? I think of people from the news: those parents abused their child by doing x,y, and z...what if I become like that?! (Those are the thoughts that get my anxiety the most worked up). My therapist can't tell me why I worry about doing things that are out of my character, just that my mind simply thinks up worst case scenarios and my OCD mind needs to find ways to keep the kids safe. I know...this illness is exhausting. Thoughts that would slide off of someone else's back simply because they are extreme and ridiculous make me cry for hours...sometimes because the thought breaks my heart, and other times because I wish I wasn't like this anymore. I never used to be like this, but now I am.

I'm doing better today than I have been doing the past couple days. So I wanted to put together a little post about a spring table. My dining room table needed something on it, but I couldn't seem to find the "perfect" decor. This week, however, I was able to find some things that make me happy with my spring-themed table. Below is a larger picture of what my whole set-up looks like along with some tips for table decorating!

 Spring Table Decorating Tips:
  • Pick a bright color to make you decor "pop"
  • Sprinkle in subtle neutral colors too
  • Buy even if the color is wrong (my candle holder was a natural wood finish, nothing a quick coat of paint couldn't fix!)
  • Pick a few nice things to avoid cluttering (I really debated adding more, glad I didn't'!)
  • Pick pieces with dual purposes (the little flowers are salt and pepper shakers! 
  • Buy and try...and return if it doesn't work! Ha!

Thank you all for reading! I promise to keep up better from now on! I will be working on a spray paint project this weekend!

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