Remembering Farmer Bob, my hero

GRANDPA

“What a man”…. as I read this response someone posted on my Facebook page in regards to his passing I thought, wow how true. So much meaning in those three words. This could be the simplest way to sum up our grandfather but anyone that knew him knew that he was much more complex. Grandpa had so many layers that didn’t just make him a man; they made him the perfect man, and quite frankly our hero. If you were fortunate enough to know him you get it, you fully understand the Bob we all knew and loved. It’s hard to put in to words what he meant to so many people, but I will do my best to provide you with a picture of the man our grandfather was and what he taught us.

I’ve never seen a harder working man. He was up at dawn, dressed in his denim, blue button downs, a cap, complete with his cold cream jar, a pair of pliers, and a black watch where a permanent tan line forever rested. Man’s best friend typically followed along beside him as he took the same familiar steps out the front door every morning, namely Smokie and Rem.hpqscan0008

As a fourth generation farmer he was born on the farm and died on the farm. He loved to tell us the story about the day he was born. There was an old schoolhouse where my parents live today which is just across the field from my grandparent’s home. This schoolhouse is where grandpa’s six older sisters went to school. According to grandpa they let out the whole school that day to go over and see the first “little (his last name here) boy.” We assume this is true, but now that I think about it I’m not sure if it is or not! I just heard it so many times I assume that it is. He loved to tell stories and would tell them for as long as you would listen. If only we could remember all his stories and have the ability to tuck them away in a secret vault in our memories. What I wouldn’t do for one more tractor ride full of his tales. —-Heed my advice and listen to those stories, treasure them.

Grandpa was the definition gma and gpa of class. His outfits were carefully selected and placed together before every mass or event. He loved to dress up and he looked damn good when he did. As a matter of fact, in discussing the absence of a suit in my husband’s closet for my grandfather’s services Grant made it very clear that purchasing one was the utmost priority, that he would not be able to look himself in the mirror if he didn’t have respectable attire to pay tribute in.gma and gpa

Being a farmer was in grandpa’s blood, but at his core he was the truest of gentlemen. He doted on our grandmother, always making sure she was taken care of and had what she needed. He put our grandmother on a pedestal and worked his entire life to provide for her. We will never forget how they would enter a room together, hand in hand, side by side.

 

Grandpa taught us about friendship. If you knew grandpa you loved him. He had the ability to touch so many people. If there was something you needed, it was yours. If you needed help, he was there. If you found yourself between a rock and a hard place, he’d help you figure your way out. You could find him on Wednesday evenings, shooting the shit around a card table with his buddies. I can remember looking out my bedroom window one evening when I was in college and watching his truck travel down the long lane back to their white, two-story farmhouse. I was in utter disbelief that it was midnight and my 85 year old grandpa was just returning home. Where were the pumpkins? The glass slipper? Was this real life?!  He was breaking all the rules!

He knew no stranger and would have your life story upon introducing himself. He’d also probably know somebody that knew somebody that knew you. He always welcomed our friends and significant others in to his home passing no judgment and asking no questions. If you were a friend of ours you were a friend of his.christmas w roman

He taught us how to have fun and be ornery. I will never forget the hot afternoon my cousin and I spent in the ditch in front of the house. It had just rained a couple of days before and it was full of water. We rode our bikes as fast as we could down the hill and straight into the ditch, where we flipped over, covered in mud and rock scrapes. Grandpa couldn’t figure out what all the fuss was about so he thought he should join in. He plopped down into that water fully clothed and wrestled and laughed with us until our bellies were sore. That same cousin and I also strung grandma and grandpa’s entire bedroom up with yarn, pulled the ol feather and shaving cream trick on grandpa and then almost sent him to the ER when we dropped a fake spider down in front of him as he walked up the steps. Before our very eyes grandpa flew backwards, down the steps and landed on his back. We looked at each other in complete horror and feared for our lives. But after getting after us, in true grandpa fashion, we got hugs and he told us how much he loved us.

Grandpa taught uhpqscan0010s about the earth, whether it be the crops in the fields or the vegetables in his garden. He would relish in the yummy goodness of a freshly picked strawberry or a peach he plucked from the tree. In the summer when we put up sweet corn he would sit down to eat a roastnear and exclaim, “By God that’s the best ear of sweet corn I’ve ever eaten,” he said this every.single.year and we laughed every.single.time. Behind the wheel of a tractor is where many of us will picture him for the rest of our lives. There was nothing quite like watching him cut hay at sunset, the scent forever ingrained in your memory, the dust still high in the sky.gpa1

He was a gentle, emotional man. Our grandfather was never afraid to let us see him cry. As a matter of fact, I remember seeing him cry often and it did not embarrassed him. He loved hard, everything and everyone. When we were little they raised hogs on the farm which meant piglets and LOTS of them. He would snatch them up and have them nestled cozily in our arms in one swift motion as we giggled with delight. He would stand there and talk to momma, assuring her that her snorting bundle of pink fuzz was in good hands while we snuggled and kissed its tiny snout. I remember watching him run his hand down a momma cow’s side while she labored with her first born. She was having a hard time and grandpa did his best to keep her calm. I saw my first baby calf born that day and it was as if it was grandpa’s first time too. He kept telling me to watch, “see what she does, see how they just know what to do.” He marveled at new life on the farm and was heartbroken when life ended.

He was the same way off the farm. He used to cry during church when I would cantor at mass, he loved to hear me sing. He would cry thinking about lost loved ones and friends taken from him too soon. He had no problem shedding a tear when holding his first great granddaughter and each one that came after. Sometimes his tears were the words he didn’t have whether it was in happy times or sad times.

Of all the things we learned from him, the most important thing he taught us was how to love. He  may not have been around quite as much as grandma while we were there visiting but when he was you can bet that he made you feel like the most important person in the world. He would tell us to slow down, or “a little louder” but he listened intently to any story we told him. He showed up for us too. He and grandma were well known cheerleaders at our events; they loved to watch us show off our talents.  Sometimes I would look over at him during our family Christmas’s while we gathered in a room much too small for us to fit in and I could literally see his pride radiating out of him like sunshine. —-Side note, the family does not in fact fit in that room anymore, we’ve spilled out in to the hallway but it doesn’t stop us from trying.

Grandpa was truly our supein tractor wheelrhero. We are thankful that we were chosen to be his grand babies and we are proud of who he was, what he stood for, and the legacy he left behind. For 91 years grandpa graced this earth and we are blessed to have had him to treasure for so long. His passing was like something out of a movie, those of us who witnessed his last words to family will never forget that moment we had together and with him. He passed on a Sunday morning, surrounded by his wife and six children. It seemed only fitting that Farmer Bob would pass on God’s day of rest just before sunrise. It was a beautiful day to join his family and friends as an angel in heaven. I know he’s already found his place among the clouds and is looking down on each of us, giving us the strength to face life without him here.

 

I found this online and it has helped me cope with his passing.

“We knew that morning that God would call you your name. In life we loved you dearly, in death we do the same. It broke our hearts to lose you; you did not go alone; for part of us went with you the day God called you home. You left us peaceful memories, your love is still our guide; and though we cannot see you, we feel you at our side. Our family chain is broken and nothing seems the same; but as God calls us one by one, the chain will link again.”

 

Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem…. I know he did
Laci Jane

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I’m NOT Voting, here’s why….

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I know I’m not the only one watching this election, scratching my head. It’s really hard for me to wrap my head around what this country has come to. Two candidates for president; one a corrupt, lying, pompous DC puppet and the other a corrupt, entertaining, loud mouthed, idiot. This is really who we have to choose from? Not me. I did not ask for any of this, I will not take part in this circus and I CERTAINLY will not vote for your candidate just because you believe in one or two things they are “promising” to do.

First of all, I am fully aware of those who came before me who fought for my right to vote, to live in America and be free. I don’t need a lecture on what my duty is as an American.

Second of all, voting is not my job and it certainly is not my duty, it is a privilege bestowed upon us and one that I have no problem denying (this year). These candidates for president go against so many of my values and I morally cannot vote for either one, so I won’t. Here I am, an educated, white female and I will not be casting a ballot for president. I do not want any part of this. I will be able to put both my hands up and say, “nope, I had no part in this, I did not want any of this!”

The third party candidates? Don’t get me started, their chance of being president is like my chance in winning the lottery. Let’s just face it, it’s a great idea in theory and I totally support what these people are trying to do along with their followers but it’s our reality for now that they are NOT going to win. Maybe we should start doing something about that NOW so that in the future their is a viable third candidate.

I watch these two individuals in debates and I just get sick to my stomach. The bickering, the lying, the back stabbing, his desperate attempt at getting a laugh (at anyone’s expense) and her fake ass smile. Americans have been able to achieve some incredibly magnificent things and this is all we could come up with?

I firmly believe, along with many others, that we are doomed. If there aren’t other countries watching our debates and laughing at us, there should be. There has been a gradual breakdown in this country. We  are the target of terrorist attacks, it’s just a matter of time before the next one hits, everyone thinks your racist if you have opposing views, our police officers are living in fear of their lives, our LGBT communities are still struggling with acceptance, children are victims of extreme cases of bullying, we have millions without jobs, our veterans are dying every day from PTSD, and parents fight the judgement of their peers around every corner. God forbid their child get killed, it will certainly be their fault. So here we are, One Nation Under God and we have two candidates doing nothing but adding fuel to the fire. How do we come together when our nation’s leaders are immature children at best? They are teaching us nothing about respect and acceptance. Their moral compasses are shattered and they should probably both be in jail for the crimes they have committed. It’s a funny thing what money and power can get you, what gets lost and what gets swept under the rug.

You can try to convince me, but it won’t work. You can say, “pick the lesser of two evils,” do you realize how absolutely insane that sounds?! I saw a quote on the internet that said, “voting for the lesser of two evils is STILL voting for evil.” NO, NO, NO if you don’t like either candidate then don’t just pick one of them people! Stand up for yourself and exercise your right NOT to vote.

In closing, I want to apologize to both my dad and father in law. I love you both dearly but I will not be casting a ballot and participating in this joke of an election…. XOXOXO

Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem
Laci Jane

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How My “Busy” Has Changed

I  have silently been cussing myself for not writing here. I have so much to say, so many ideas, but no time to actually write. I know that will change soon but I have to laugh when I look back at my busy life. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve always been a busy person. I thrive on chaos. In high school it was multiple sports, extra curiculars, and jobs. In college it was clubs, volleyball and 4, yes, 4 jobs at one time. After college it was three jobs, then back to four. Shortly before I had Roman I knocked it down to just three again before I decided that I could no longer do it all because I had a human being to take care of. I found time for everything I wanted and more. When I had Roman I felt like life slowed down for a long time. It was wonderful, I had all the time in the world to spend with my tiny baby.

Here we are now with baby Ryker, oh you sweet thing. I stay home, I have one part time job, I train a few clients, and I have a handful of things I do on the side as a free lancer. I’m home almost every day, so I have time for everything right? HAHAHAHAHA. Yeah um no. Since we had Ryker I really don’t sit down for my own rest time until about 9:30. I am a night owl so this gives me approximately two hours to do everything I want to do before I feed Ryker, except all I want to do is nothing at all, well that and drink Bud Light. I wouldn’t say I’m exhausted but I AM tired. I don’t want to think, writing here requires me to think even though I love it.

I find myself having these conversations with other women who are also busy, we are all just a different kind of busy. Kind of like the busy I was before kids. I sometimes wish I could slow down and enjoy Ryker like I was able to enjoy Roman, but I know this is a common symptom of the second child syndrome. I do my best but it’s definitely difficult when Roman is streaking through my house naked screaming “MOOOOOOMMMY” and roaring at my like a dinosaur. Ryker has been a wonderful baby despite me not having the time to REALLY sleep train him like I did Roman. He’s learning to self sooth very quickly, poor kid lol. He’s 2 months tomorrow and slept his first 8 hour stretch last night! Up until then he had been doing 6 or 7 which I was totally ok with it.

I hope I can get to all the post ideas I have written down soon, just need to find a smidge more time and a lot more energy.

[Sigh]

I can say without hesitation I am BLESSED beyond measure and I am SO in love with these boys of mine, all 4 of them (I’m counting the furbaby).

Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem
Laci Jane

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Three Becomes Four

On July 26 we welcomed you, our second son Ryker, into the world. After a relatively easy but stressful pregnancy you made your debut at 38 weeks 4 days. They handed you over to me and I just couldn’t get over how little you were, especially compared to our plump little Roman who was born at 40 weeks 5 days. You curled right up on top of me and struggled to open your eyes but you just kept your focus on me as if you weren’t going to stop until you got a really close look at mom. At two weeks old you still look up at me sometimes as if in awe of me. Of course, if you knew me yet you wouldn’t think i was quite as awesome as you make me think I am right now 😉 You have the ability to say a lot with your little blue eyes.

Your brother has been quite taken with you. He loves to help us with you, gives you kisses any chance he gets and becomes quite frantic if he doesn’t know where you are in the house. He has literally floored us at how well he’s adjusting. We love you both so much.

From our 20 week appointment on we were told there were a variety of things that could potentially be wrong with you. First it was your heart, then it was something on your brain, when they ruled both of those out we were told your long bones weren’t measuring long enough. We were referred to the maternal and fetal medicine department at the hospital where they ruled out dwarfism and after a 2 1/2 week wait on genetic testing they also ruled out Downs Syndrome and Trisomy 18. Whew…. The only good thing about any of it was that we saw you at every single appointment we had until 38 weeks. We also got to see you a couple times at our maternal and fetal appointments. Your daddy and I were so positive you were going to be just perfect but we worried nonetheless. It was interesting to find out that your brother’s long bones had also measured 5 1/2 weeks behind the day we went in for his 40 week appointment but we were never told bc we went in to the hospital that day!! I was like what?! Yours were measuring 3 1/2-4 behind on the ultrasounds. We concluded after watching your brother run naked through the house that you were both going to have long torsos and shorter legs just like me. Your pediatrician didn’t even know we had been through everything had, she said you were perfect, but of course I already knew that.

So far you’ve been such a good baby for us. But I will tell you a secret, we do call you Hot Mess Express, you’ve peed and pooped on us, yourself, the walls, and your blankets more in your first two weeks than Roman has in 2 1/2 years, as a matter of fact I know of two times he peed on me…… you will hear about this later, stinker butt.

As I write this we’re watching Rikki and the Flash and you’re sleeping peacefully in my arms. I didn’t keep a baby book for you lol so I decided I would devote this post to you. Sorry buddy it has something to do with being the second child.

Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem
Laci Jane

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Choices

first daySo a week ago today we made the choice to give one of our fur babies up and re home her. I picked up Jerzie Ann in 2009 in Missouri. I had seen her breed somewhere and became obsessed with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. The economy was tanked so I was able to get her much, much cheaper than what a Kind Charles normally costs. She was perfect from the very beginning. Not only was she incredibly intelligent, she was sweet, loyal and not aggressive at all. She became our child and she was treated as such for many years. She went everywhere with me.IMG_0900

When we adopted Boss in 2012 she never complained or got upset with us she accepted him as part of our family and we all got along great for almost two more years before wild man entered the picture. When Roman was born she accepted him as well. She didn’t necessarily “like” him but she never got upset, she went with the flow. She did her best to bob and weave to avoid him but she put up with him for two more years.

 

 

my 3 babiesThat brings us to a grand total of seven years that Jerzie was a part of our lives. Literally one of THE best dogs you could ever imagine having. I never dreamt I would end up giving her up. When we moved into our new house in December she started to change. I can’t tell you exactly what it was that caused this personality disruption but I am venturing to say that she sensed I was pregnant. She is incredibly intelligent. I don’t believe she wanted to go with the flow any longer and I think she became anxious to a fault about the impending doom that the addition would bring to the home (her getting less attention). She began to attach herself to my feet. I couldn’t go anywhere or do anything without her right next to me. She began whining incessantly any time I would go behind a closed door or leave her for a moment (her whine isn’t a whimper it’s an all out chalkboard scratching squall. ), frantically trying to find me in the house. This resulted in her being put in her carrier way more often that she needed to be throughout the day. This meant less time with me which resulted in her greater demand for attention while she was out, a vicious circle and my husband and I losing our sanity with her on any given evening.

I began to see the difference between how she and boss were acting. He still sat around like a normal dog, he would raise his head if we came into a room but he didn’t feel the need to follow us around and her certainly did not care if we left him alone. He was fine, you could tell he was unaffected by the new house or that there may be another addition in the future. But I mean he’s the orphan puppy, the rescue dog. He’s not as used to being the center of attention as she has been for the greater majority of her life. I think she felt it slipping through her tiny, fluffy paws.

My husband and I discussed giving her away several times but we just couldn’t stomach the thought. Eventually it got to a point where we knew we weren’t being fair. We were getting upset with her for her actions, it’s hard to be understanding when there is a 2 year old running through the house screaming, one dog chasing the toddler, the other dog squalling, all while you’re simply trying to have a conversation about how your day went!! She would get booted to her carrier where she would quiet down and we were living as a family without her until Roman went down for the evening, we managed to get showers and eat. Leaving us with a grand total of about two hours a day where she could really get our full attention and cuddle and even then sometimes I am on the computer doing work. Let’s throw in a newborn and see how that same saga would play out every evening. We decided.

For about a week I messaged friends privately on FB asking for their help in finding her a new home. We knew we wanted her to live with a family who had the time, one with older children, a single individual, or an older couple. Someone who would treat her like the little princess she is, she absolutely deserves that. I wanted her to be someone’s child again not just a dog in a home where she wouldn’t get attention. Trust me I wanted to give it to her but what we could give just wasn’t enough anymore.

 

A friend of mine messaged me back and we decided to have him meet her. He fell in love (how could you not) and a week later we gave her away. There were several times during that week I felt the emotions sweep over me and I promptly pushed them away. This wasn’t about us this was about her, I just prayed she wouldn’t be brokenhearted and she would allow someone else to love her like we had all these years. I received a few updates over the weekend that she was doing really well. I haven’t heard anything for a couple days so I assume they are getting a long just fine. He’s posted a couple pictures and they warmed our heart. He is one lucky guy I will say that.

While I know it’s easy to judge someone’s decision to give away a family pet I hope you will not judge us. This was not a choice we ever thought we would have to make but our family has evolved and I think it was Jerzie’s way of telling us she wasn’t ready for more changes and I completely understand that. I just wish it could have been different. We gave her so much love over the last seven years and we have memories with her that we will never forget. Jerzie girl, I love you forever and always, you’re always going to have a piece of my heart… XOXO.

Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem
Laci Jane

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Dressing the Bump with the Help of LuLu’s!

lulus2In my never-ending quest to find the perfect outfits to wear during pregnancy I stumbled upon Lulu’s. There were plenty of dresses on the site that I desperately wanted but price was definitely a factor. I settled with this amazing black dress which I knew I could wear to work and every day…. wait who am I kidding, I wear yoga pants every day UNLESS I am going to work.

I tried it on within minutes of receiving the package and fell madly and deeply in love. The problem was they didn’t have it in a small, which I needed. I was forced to order a medium instead which meant it was big on me even with my round baby bump, especially in the chest area. I will definitely have to have it altered to fit after I have baby. I wanted to wear it to a graduation ceremony I was attending that evening so I made it work. It was a cool evening so I wore a sweater over it which helped hide the extra material I had stuffed into my over sized belt I wore with it. I also wore it a couple days later to work and kept a black, fitted vest over it so that you couldn’t see it then either!

I always look for length in the dresses I purchase, I want them long enough so that if I wear a decent sized wedge or thick sandal that it will not be too short. For me, I know that a dress with a length of 42 inches is perfect. I usually get that from waist. My black dress from LuLu’s I believe was even longer than that. The model was 5’7 with heels on and it was still dragging the floor. I knew it would be perfect.

lulus1The top of it is busy enough with color that it really had me stumped with what to wear in terms of accessories. I ended up choosing my chunky red necklace and bracelet and out the door I went! #LoveLulus

Definitely a dress to snatch up, especially if you want some style to dress your bump. It has the length to accommodate the lift your bump creates. If you don’t have to worry about the bump just make sure you realize that you will likely need to get it hemmed if you just want to be casual and wear flip flops with it. I find that wearing heels with a maxi just isn’t comfortable. I mean they are supposed to be the nicer version of leggings right haha??!

Let me know what you think of this dress. You can get it here at this link.

Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem
Laci Jane
Bathroom Rennovation

Dressing the Bump in the Spring

I’m 28 weeks pregnant in late spring. The last time I was 28 weeks pregnant it was December. Dressing the bump is entirely different and a lot more challenging when it’s warmer out. Most people would assume that summer would be easier but that is not what I have found. Maxi dresses, unless fitted correctly, make me look like a COW, all of my cute tanks that are flow-ier make me look like a COW, shorts.. ugh I don’t like wearing those anyways, and don’t even get my started on maxi skirts, I have not even seen maternity maxi skirts that look like they will fit cute. I can still do leggings and wide leg flowy pants with a form-fitting top, fitted maxi dresses, jeans and fitted tops, and I’ve got a couple high-waisted skirts that still look quite adorable. They won’t within the next 4 weeks when torpedo belly develops tho!

I really found that winter leggings, boots, and cardigans were far cuter and comfier than what I’ve tried to put together late spring. Plus, it seems as if dressing a winter bump is less noticeable, more subtle? With summer more skin is showing and I’m just not about showing off any extra part of my body lol, the belly is enough!

I’m not wearing maternity clothes this time either. I have nothing against them. I just like a good challenge and I want to try and spend my money on clothes I can actually wear again, not some I will sell for a quarter of the price at a garage sale or ones I will give away. Luckily my belly is still high so my jeans fit and it is TOTALLY possible to find shirts to wear that are not maternity shirts. In our area the selection is terrible anyways, stripes, stripes, and more stripes. Ugh let’s make us look bigger than we already feel, thanks but no thanks.

I’ve included just a few of my favorite outfits from the last several weeks of pregnancy. I haven’t posted as near as many because since I stay home now most days I’m just in my leggings and an old ratty t-shirt with no makeup. While I love you, I aint going to be sprucing up and trying on all my outfits and taking pictures just for ya’ll!! Other times when I am going somewhere I’m still trying to battle two dogs, a two year old and actually make it out the door on time.

Here are some outfits I was able to capture!

21 weeksAt 21 weeks pregnant I rocked my high-waisted black skirt with an adorable large bow belt. You know me and belts I think they are such an underused fashion piece. Makes your waist look skinny! Striped shirt but thank God it was vertical wouldn’t have worn it if it was horizontal.

At 24 weeks pregnant I found a tighter maxi dress from Target that is long enough to still give me length despite my growing belly. I pulled a royal blue chiffon 3/4 sleeve top over it, knotted it just abov24 weekse my belly and boom. Totes adorbs. You can purchase this dress online here, just follow the link. I’m 5’5 and this is an XS.

At 28 weeks I wanted to stay comfy when I went into work but still look cute so I pulled out my husband’s favorite khaki vest with gold buttons (he actually hates it, says I look like I’m in a marching band), paired it with a large statement necklace, plain off white V-neck and my wide leg black pants. Wish I would have 28 weeksknown you could see my ass through these pants…. I wore them for about 4 hours prior to going into work. I bet there were some real nice things said about the pregnant hoochie mama!!!! It would have been okay if my shirt was covering most of my rear but you know sometimes we forget to pull it down. Oh well, nothing I can do about it now except hope that someone enjoyed the view?? LOL. I had a lot of people from my Facebook page ask where I got 28 week selfitmy necklace. I assumed David’s Bridal would have it online still on clearance with some of the other necklaces I saw there but they don’t. It is possible your local David’s could still have it so run in and check to see.

I’d love to feature someone besides myself on this page! If you think you have great style or just love an outfit you put together while pregnant message me on FB or drop me an email and let me know! Links are always appreciated so someone else can run out and get a similar look.

Carpe the Hell out of your Diem
Laci Jane

A Nursery to Grow Up In

 

 

What Happened to Us?

cherry pieI found myself asking this question the other night after sat on my couch with a food belly (and baby belly) full of the most amazing cherry pie of my life. I had just gobbled down two pieces of pie, yes two, let’s just say the pie didn’t last long. It wasn’t gluten free either hehehehehehehe so the husband couldn’t eat it hehehehehehe.

If you’ve been reading my posts you know that in 2015 we moved three times and lived in four houses. Our first move of the year we were greeted on a crisp morning by three neighbor ladies who wanted to welcome us to the neighborhood, a little boy from a couple houses over who I can only imagine was looking for a playmate, and an older gentlemen from across the road who engaged my husband in about a thirty minute conversation about anything he could think up. To say we were impressed is an understatement. The welcome we received made our hearts full and it honestly was on of the reasons we did NOT want to leave the area. As a matter of fact a home popped up for sale in the subdivision recently and I won’t lie we considered and wished we could afford it.

Our second move was quick and painless. Things were so chopped up, part of our stuff was in two different storage locations, a lot was with us and some we kept at my parents house. This was the town we grew up in. We didn’t expect a welcome and we didn’t receive one. Maybe this is because everyone probably already knew who we were, our business and why we were staying there. Maybe it’s because welcoming neighbors to the neighborhood is a dying tradition. I don’t know.

When I reflect back almost four years to when we moved into our first home we did not receive a welcome either. I don’t want this to offend our old neighbors because TRUST me they were some of the best people we could ever have been blessed to live around. We got to know them over time and again, awesome people, but there definitely wasn’t a welcoming. I’m not upset with them or blame them for not baking me brownies or saying hello so don’t get me wrong. Besides, we are just as guilty! Shame on me, shame on us. Families moved into the area and not once did my husband or I go over and welcome them. I am so angry with myself for not going the extra mile but I hadn’t really thought about it until I had a belly full of delicious, red, oooey gooey, cherry goodness.

This pie and an accompanying flower were gifts from a “neighbor” who wanted to welcome us to the “neighborhood”. This is the only person of the surrounding homes who has even attempted to speak to us and she actually doesn’t even live near us. Again, I’m not upset with our current neighbors, heck I really don’t even know them, just the names because others have told us about them. If you are one of our new neightbors and happen to be reading this, I do love cherry pie and at this point in my pregnancy I would take pretty much anything you’d be willing to make, just saying 🙂

I think we really need to ask ourselves,are we so stifled by the screens we sit behind that we can’t even leave the house to welcome and introduce ourselves to neighbors? Do we lack the communication skills and confidence to strike up a conversation with someone new, someone literally right next door? It’s frustrating to me. We are better people than this, I know I am, and mark my words it will not happen again. Welcoming someone and introducing yourself is a far cry from being  meddling neighbor. I encourage and implore you to be that change in your own neighborhood. It feels really really good to know that someone cares enough about your new adventure in a new home and place that they want to stop by, say hello and congrats on your new home.I won’t let the chance to make a new friend pass me by.

Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem
Laci Jane
Staying Active During Pregnancy- 1st and 2nd Trimester

 

 

 

 

My Last Mother’s Day with Just You

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So today was my last mother’s day as just YOUR mommy. Next year, there will be two of you and I have absolutely no idea how I could love another little boy as much as I love you. This is the third mother’s day that I’ve been bestowed with such an amazing honor, being your mommy. You’ve turned my world upside down.

A couple of months ago I sent a friend of mine a message asking her if she also went through a sort of betrayal feeling before she had her second child and she assured me that yes she had. I had just come off a rough couple months dealing with many emotions and cried several nights thinking about how much of my time I would be spending with someone new, time that I wouldn’t have with you. Eventually the feeling went away but as of late, it has resurfaced and my heart is literally torn and breaking.

I feel as if I am betraying you, that I have made you promises I won’t be able to keep anymore and that I have lied to you. I won’t be able to whisper in your ear that, “I love you more than anything in this world,” because while I do, I will love someone else just as much. I won’t be able to remind you that, “you’re the cutest baby in the whole world,” because while you still are I will also believe someone else is equally as cute. You will no longer have my undivided attention nor will you be able to take my hand and lead me to spend time with you and I drop everything to go.

I feel like I am suffocating sometimes, that I literally won’t be able to breathe because I know that at some point I am going to hurt your feelings and that you will feel like you aren’t as special to me. The mere thought of hurting you in any way is enough to put me over the edge. As I write this I’m short of breath.

While there will be so many happy times and you and your brother will have so much fun plotting against me with daddy it still doesn’t take away the feelings that I am having. How could I ever possibly love anything as much as I love you? They say that I will. There will not be anymore after your brother because while we only wanted two children anyways I literally don’t think my heart could take this kind of pain again.

You made my day in so many ways today, I am so blessed to have such an amazing, sweet and wild little boy. I wanted to cry with joy and sadness tonight when for the first time you acknowledged another member of our family without any prompting. We stood in the bathroom after brushing your teeth and daddy said, “who’s that!” and pointed to himself, you, me, Boo Boo, and Bubby, last daddy pointed at my belly and you said, “baby!” Oh how much the new baby will change our lives. Deep down I know that he will be another amazing blessing to our life but right now I can’t help these feelings that I am having and I plan to enjoy every last waking minute that I can proving to you just how special you are. You won’t be able to read this for a long time but I write it in hopes that you can truly understand someday just how much love I have for you that I can experience such pain at the same time as I experience so much love. I want you to always mothersday16_!remember that……

“never before in story or rhyme (not even once up on a time) has the world ever known a you my [sweet boy], and it never will, not ever again.”

Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem
Laci Jane

Bathroom Rennovation

 

 

 

 

Shhh! Secrets to Building a Home on a Budget

I have so much catching up to do in regards to our new house and all of the little projects I’ve been doing to ensure that it looks absolutely perfect… even with the tiny terrorist and shedding fur children who live here and wreaks havoc on it every day!

From the start of our building process it was very important to my husband and I that we make it as easy as possible so that it would not be a stressful experience. I am happy to report that the build was easy, so easy. We had an issue with the county on where the city said the driveway could be and where the county said it had to be but aside from that everything went smoothly.

We also knew we weren’t going to spend a fortune on the “extras” for this house. There are just some things that we felt we could go without and I am ecstatic with the more frugal choices we made. So today I am going to share how we saved thousands during the build of our home. I have them in sections so you can skip over areas you may not be interested in.

Lighting

This was one of those areas I couldn’t wait to get started with. I knew lighting would be fun but I also knew it was going to be a challenge because everything is so DAMN expensive. When explaining how I saved money to a group of friends I was told that I was “lucky I had the time to scour sites for used lighting,” I chuckled under my breath? Time?? I don’t have any more time than someone else! I just stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to make sure that I found something I loved. Some people need to learn what is okay and what is not okay to say to people!

So below I have posted the pictures of all of my secondhand lighting that I found either via Craigslist, Habitat for Humanity or FB groups. I was able to find large and small chandeliers, ceiling fans, bathroom lights, and even small closet lights. It did take my husband and I quite a few Sundays to spray paint them all the colors that we wanted while my parents helped and watched our son but so worth it. It’s definitely really hard to do when it’s October and the weather is 20 degrees one day and 75 degrees  the next! Bu, thankfully I was doing all this right before I got pregnant. Otherwise baby would have been chillin in the womb singing Bob Marley.

Anyway, while searching for them caused me a few lost zzz’s and the painting kept us from watching Sunday football it was totally worth it. The lights don’t quite match in the great room, kitchen and entryway but if anyone wants to analyze them that closely I will gladly show them my front door. I think they look amazing and brand new. All in all we spent about $1500 on the indoor and outdoor lighting. I did purchase the outside garage lights, one bathroom light, the pendants over island and a light over the sink brand new, those are included in that price.

If you are building or redoing a home get started now and start browsing around to see what you can find. It’s a lot cheaper to buy spray paint than spend hundreds more on a brand new light.

[Side note: We did check all of the lights before installation to ensure they worked].

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IMG_1109.JPGAppliances

Lucky for me I wanted white appliances which are the cheapest ones (from what we found) that you can buy. However, just a little tip, purchase from Lowes around black Friday with a military discount or open their card to get 10% off and you can save so much more. I ended up saving close to $750 with the Black Friday adjustment and the military discount (BOOM BOOM)! We went several places and they had the best deals every time we went back and checked. Our fridge came in with a busted handle but they took care of it and had it replaced within a week.

Paint

Our contractor had included two paint colors in the bid. Most of the time you are going to want more colors than just two in the home. However, by trying to cover your largest rooms in the same color you can save a lot of money, not only if you are contracting out but also if you are doing it yourself. We painted the entire great room, kitchen, entryway, first bedroom, hallway, bathrooms, and our bedroom in the same color. It’s a gorgeous color used in our first house. I’m totally obsessed with it.

I used my second color for Ro’s bedroom and the two additional colors I added were for small rooms so I knew they’d only need a gallon. I used a coral in the laundry room and a bright aqua in mudroom off of garage. I also had leftover green paint I wanted my closet to be painted so they just used that.

Tips here: Limit your paint choices, is it necessary to have every room a different color? I love the cohesiveness of our home and the neutral allows me to make every room different with décor. You can also look for great discounts from Sherwin Williams. I believe they over like 30% off a couple times a year? Pair that with things like military discounts or opening an credit card account and you can save quite a bit.

Tax Rates

This was something I had NOT even considered until my girl Mandy enlightened me. The large city where we shop locally has a much higher tax rate than some of the smaller towns around it. I was able to find the exact same cabinets I found in the city at a smaller town and saved a ton on the tax side because their rate was so much lower. I was also able to do the same with lumber and counter tops. Seriously check this out.

Cabinet Hardware

It would be a lot easier if you just went in to local hardware store and bought knobs for all of your cabinets which I did at our first house when I re-did the kitchen. However, my girl Mandy encouraged me to check out some online stores and I am so glad I did! I was able to get the perfect knobs and handles and saved a ton of money.

Custom Made Furnishings

I won’t detail how I kept myself from spending THOUSANDS in furniture costs to furnish the new home. That is for another blog post. However, I will say that I was able to purchase a CUSTOM made GORGEOUS island piece for HALF, yes HALF of what the cabinet places wanted to charge me to just put in an island. It is exactly what I wanted, unique and adds a ton of character to the kitchen and great room. They used reclaimed wood and I was able to help an up and coming business get some exposure! Think out of the box and ask for quotes. There are a lot of talented locals that would love the business.

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Garage Doors

This seems so funny to even bring up but we saved $400 just by getting plain doors for our garage. I desparetly wanted fancier doors for the front of the house. But I was not willing to shell out $400 more dollars to get them. Why? First of all you don’t really notice a garage door anyway unless you are looking at them to decide what you want and two I wanted to put that money towards adding windows to the home that we added on to the contract and a screened in back porch. While I can’t get my dream garage doors I can spend $20 and get accessories to slap on the front and give them a nice clean look. We haven’t done it yet but we will get to it now that it is warming up.

Ask questions and make sure you know how much all the little extras are.

Mirrors

I found some gorgeous mirrors at an Old Time Pottery for a fraction of the cost of what big box retailers wanted. Don’t be afraid to look for used mirrors either. Someone’s “trash” may be another man’s treasure!!

Curtain Rods

Ok, so I may have stuck this one all the way at the bottom because it was my favorite!! When we moved in I knew there was no way in God’s green earth I was going to spend hundreds on curtain rods. I’ve bought them before and I was totally aware of how much they could end up costing me. I shuttered at the thought. I knew there had to be a solution for this and lo and behold there was. I found a blog post by Ashley on 3 Little Greenwoods where she was able to make her own curtain rods for pennies. I thought, even if I fail I will not have invested much anyways so it was worth it to me.

Here is the link to the blog post I did regarding DIYing my own curtain rods because this one is long enough already! So I have included a sneak peak at my $10, yes I said TEN DOLLAR, bay window curtain. CLICK HERE to see the post on how I did it.

Anyways, if you’ve stuck with me until the end, GREAT! Good luck, I hope you save all kinds of money on your build or renovation. Please leave your comments below on how YOU were able to save money!