1. I really like blogging, promise.
2. So why'd I go off the grid for the better part of a month? Beats me. Actually no, that's not true--there's a very big reason why. (NO, not pregnant.) Basically during the month of September, I went through the funk to end all funks.
The catalyst? Boo Bear started mother's day out, meaning both my babies are both in school on the same two days every week. For the first time in five years, I have 11 total hours per week that are entirely my own. It's taken me a few weeks to get used to the quiet; being alone with my own thoughts; that vaguely empty, useless feeling.
I'm better now :)
3. First thing that helped me feel better: church. We love our church, and I have needed and appreciated the support I've gotten from my church family so much this past month. I love our hard-working staff; I love sitting next to my husband during Sunday school; I love being part of the preschool moms' group; I love helping my choir babies learn songs and motions for their fall musical; and I love worshipping with my choir family. We're so blessed to have such an amazing church home!
4. Second thing that has helped me feel better: fall break. I had both kiddos home with me all last week, and it was delicious. We slept in, ran errands, took Little Foot on a "big girl" shopping trip (complete with her first visit to a dressing room), turned their closets over from summer to winter, went to the Zoo, got our flu shots... Just kind of finished the last of the "settling in" from moving into the new house and starting school. I feel so much more prepared to send them off to school this week.
Nearly 3,000 animals at the Memphis Zoo; Little Foot wants a picture of this flower.
5. Third thing that has helped me feel better: home improvement projects. I painted Little Foot's room pink the day after we moved in; next on my list was the downstairs half bath. Here's how it looked when we first moved in:
Problem #1: Just outside the frame is the left wall, which was painted blood red. (You can just see a sliver of it at the very top of the photo.) So that had to go. Oh yeah, problem #2: the walls are coated in semi-gloss paint, meaning they had to be sanded before being repainted, otherwise the new paint would slide right off. Between sanding, taping, priming and painting, it took me about six hours over the course of two days. P.S. Every wall in the house is covered in semi-gloss paint.
End of Day #1. Color is Herbal Wash (SW 7739) cut to 50%, eggshell finish.
Done! I'm going for cleaner, more contemporary look in the main rooms, but I gave myself permission to go a little knick-knacky in small areas (e.g. half-bath, laundry room). These walls are covered with family photos and wedding mementos...love!
The other big project we tackled: finding a storage unit for my books and photo albums. Our new house is a bit lacking in built-in storage, so we figured we'd just buy a bookcase. Yeah, easier said than done. The main problem is my photos albums are 13-3/4" tall; the shelf height for most standard bookcases is 8"-12". After spending two weekends scouring every furniture store in Shelby Co. and coming up empty, we happened upon two discarded bookcases at the end of a neighbors' driveway. Now I'm not normally one to dumpster dive, but these were clean, solid-wood beauties with shelf heights of 16 inches. There was no way they weren't coming home with us!
Sweet hubby removing the old hardware and plastic base. My, he's handy!
After two days spent cleaning, sanding and painting, this is what we ended up with:
Paint color is Valspar's "Fired Earth" (6011-1). Perfection! (Side note: Each album holds 204 photos; I just started my thirty-fifth album. That's like 7,000 photos, dude.
Which brings me to my next project: painting the kitchen. I've lived with these glossy, light-yellow walls long enough--time to do something about them! After staring at paint swatches for days, I finally got brave and tested out two of my favorites.
On the left is Nantucket Dune (SW 7527); on the right is Urban Putty (SW 7532); both are cut to 50%. Notice the glare from the spotlight on the wall. That's shiny, dude.
And the winner is...Urban Putty! Can't wait to post pics after I'm done :)
5. Fourth (and final) thing that has helped me feel better: lunches with girlfriends! One hazard of the whole SAHM thing is that I'm rarely afforded a peaceful meal with adults, so I've really enjoyed spending time with friends on my "off days." Still kind of getting used to mid-day adult conversation, but I think my skills are improving :)
One of my favorite recent catch-up lunches: South of Beale with my girl Jessica!
We started off with drinks (Diet Coke for me, iced tea for her) and a bowl of their complimentary popcorn.
Dusted with just a touch of smoky/sweet seasoning, I personally found it a bit stale. But hey, it was free right?
Lunch was dynamite: grilled salmon with maple bacon braised Brussels sprouts.
While not quite as outstanding as the Brussels sprouts at Iris (the maple flavor was a bit lacking), these little green guys nonetheless confirmed that my love affair with all things "sprout" is here to stay.
Bottom line: Would I eat there again? In a South Main minute :)
South of Beale
361 S Main St
Memphis, TN 38103