38 years old; it ain’t the end but it sure ain’t where I began.


Holy hell.  This feels rusty.  Thoughts that used to flow freely and eloquently from my mind to my fingertips are getting stuck somewhere along the way.  I’ve re-written the start to this post about 15 times but nothing feels right.  Is that what happens when you only blog once a year?  So screw it.  How about this?


I’m 38 now.  Well, I was 2 months ago and for the first time since starting these birthday posts I am not posting on my birthday.  That kind of made me sad at the time, but I decided it’s more important to write it then to get caught up in the day I write it.  Besides, I have a four month old!  I’m busy.  (Also, how long do you think I can use that as an excuse for things?)

These posts, regardless of how few and far between (or how late) are always therapeutic for me.  They’re for me more than anything else and I actually enjoy going back and reading old posts to remind me of who I was back then.  How I was feeling.  What I was thinking or hoping for.  Here’s 32, 33, 34, 35, 36 and 37.

Last year was tough.  I remember dreading turning 37 because I wasn’t sure how I would emotionally handle turning the same age my mom was when she died.  It seems the older I get, the more often I think of her.  Which seems kind of weird because my memories have definitely faded so I’m not sure why my thoughts often go to her.  What was she like?  What kind of mother was she or would she be now?  Am I like her?

You know how some songs just speak straight to your heart?  The power of music is incredible to me….how you can be so engrossed in a song:  the lyrics, the melody, the sound that it actually impacts the way you are feeling.  I have so many songs that have this power over me, but the latest is the new John Mayer song:  In the Blood.

How much of my mother has my mother left in me?
How much of my love will be insane to some degree?
And what about this feeling that I’m never good enough?
Will it wash out in the water, or is it always in the blood?

There are a lot of reasons I love this song, but that first line gets me every time.  I hope I have a lot of her in me.

Looking back on 37 though, I shouldn’t have been fearful.  Yes it was hard at times and it did make me think of my mom a lot (because good grief – dying at 37 seems so unfair).  But the ironic thing, I’ve realized, is that my 37 gave me life.


I choose to believe this has meaning.

So I’ve been spending a lot of time really thinking about 38.  Lord knows I have time….every few hours around the clock….uh hem.  Thanks baby.   So I’ve been trying to figure out how I feel about this year.  Am I still in my funk from last year?


And usually I come back to this:  I.  Feel.  Happy.

Of course there are aspects of my life that I want to change that maybe I’m not happy with.  I hope there always are because that means I’m growing and changing as a person.  But holy hell you guys.  I generally feel happy right now.  I haven’t always been able to say that….in fact it’s been awhile since I’ve been able to say that.  And you know what?   I’m just going to let myself enjoy this for a little while.

I also have to say that along with a welcome dose of happiness, I find that 38 has brought me a little bit of courage.  That “fire” I’ve talked about for so many years….the one that’s burning inside me telling me I can be more.  I can do more.  I can take a leap of faith and do something out of my comfort zone.  It’s growing.  And I’m trying so freaking hard to listen to it this time.  To fuel it instead of ignore it or dampen it.

I know that probably sounds cryptic to you; but I don’t really even know what will come of it myself.  I just know that I cannot keep ignoring that feeling or I will regret it.

So maybe 38 will bring me more than I bargain for.

And I kind of hope so.

Until next year my friends….

P.S. As always, I’ve borrowed my title from one of my favorite Jewel songs, Stephenville, TX.   Take a listen here:


Nursery Inspiration

Like my blonde hair, when it comes to decorating, I wouldn’t say I’m a natural.   I struggle with making decisions and am pretty much terrified of making color choices.   No matter how many times I read that “paint can be changed” or “bold accessories can be moved,” I’m still paralyzed by the choice.  I think it’s mostly the fear of making a decision that I won’t like.   Yes, paint can be changed….but it’s not necessarily EASY.   Not all of us have endless amounts of time on our hands to repaint our mistakes. 

Anyways…so I’m afraid of color.  You get the point.

But you’ll probably understand now why I’m so flabbergasted about having colors already picked out for the nursery.  At first, it was the same ‘ol, same ‘ol shakin’ in my boots routine.  I knew I wanted grey and white as a base (nice neutral color choices right??).  But how boring is that for a little bambino (and me)?  I knew I needed to interject some color in there somewhere to bring some life into the room. 

Imagine my surprise when I had that “aha” moment in the kitchen towel aisle of Target.    Yes.  Target.   Yes.  The kitchen towels.  Won’t the little one be so impressed that his/her room was modeled after the color scheme of some cheap towels.  Ha.  My thoughts on the matter?  I don’t care where the hell my inspiration comes from, as long as it comes!   Enough talking…how about I introduce you to the towels of the hour:

I’m not really a yellow-person, so I never really considered it an option until I saw it mingling so wonderfully with grey.   It’s so clean, fresh and cheery.  Just how I want a nursery to be!   And the best part is that it’s still gender-neutral.  Even though we’re finding out what sex the baby is, I wanted to have a neutral nursery.  Hopefully we’ll have more kids eventually and I’d hate to have to buy new things because I went crazy with the pink first time around.   I still love you pink!

But I knew it needed something else…another little happy pop of color.   And then, in another bout of good luck, I came across this note card as I was clearing out my room (in preparation for the nursery).

I love the message of this card and thought to myself  “this would be so cute hanging in a frame on the wall of a nursery.”  And then I thought to myself  “hey wait a minute!  this color would be so cute with grey and yellow!  Inspiration towel, inspiration towel, wherever you may be…get your ass over here and let me see!”   Please Kelly…somebody…tell me you picked up on the Labrynth reference here…

And what do you know?  Instant love.  

There’s only one minor problem I can foresee.  And that’s telling people that I’m doing my nursery in yellow and blue and people think of this: 

Clearly this is NOT my vision.  

And don’t even say it Pops.  My nursery is not, I repeat NOT “Bobcat colors.” 

So instead of saying yellow and blue, I’m saying saffron and peacock-blue.  Just because it sounds super fancy.  And that’s how I roll.  And I don’t care about the eye-rolling that will probably occur after I mutter those words because I can assure you that even the eye-roller herself won’t be picturing the wrong colors. 

Anyhoo….needless to say I am super excited to have this decision made!  In fact, I’ve already started collecting a few things that seem to fit my vision.  Take for example this fabric I ran across at Selvedge this past weekend. 

It’s a little on the feminine side, so if we end up having a boy I’ll definitely keep the usage to a minimum.  Some ideas floating around my head are pillow, blanket, burp cloths, nursing cover, crib skirt or just framed as some simple wall art.  The possibilities are endless.

In fact, I picked up a few other inspirational pieces of fabric while I was out, and found some already-owned items that I think will work just great.

Yes I realize that none of these items really “make” anything yet.  But they’ve got my wheels a-turnin’.  I’m thinking all about curtains and pillows and seat cushions and wall art and rugs and bedding.  Just trying to get  a plan in place so when I do finally make my move there’s some logic behind it.   Plus, now that I have some ideas in mind I can keep my eye out for deals or pieces that I love. 

So, I think the lesson learned here today is that inspiration comes in all places, sizes and colors.  Learn to go with your instinct and forget about the little voice in your head that says, “yeah, but those are towels!  At Target!” 

Today’s post brought to you by the letter T, the number 20 (because I’m halfway done today!) and of course, the color saffron.

Make way for baby

I imagine most of you spent the long weekend getting out-of-town; doing something wonderfully fun on the last big “summer weekend” of the year.

For once, I did not.  In fact, I was insanely giddy about staying home.  Alone.  For 3 glorious days!  Doing what I want, when I want.  No schedules.  No packing.  No unpacking.  No traveling.  No appointments (er, except for my pedicure appointment on Sunday).  It was my first weekend at home in over a month and I desperately needed one.   The Hubs is not someone who understands needing to be at home once in a while.  He is perfectly happy leaving town on Friday after work and not returning until Sunday evening just in time to go to bed.  In fact, he prefers it that way.   Me?  I kind of go crazy after too many weekends of that. 

So this was the first of many weekends to myself as The Hubs embarks on his coveted hunting trips for the next few months.   For now, I am ok with it.  Ask me again in October….

Anyways, on my To Do List for the weekend was to start getting things ready for the nursery.  I know, I know!  I’m all over the place these days.  You think I’d finish the living room mess before moving on.  Ha!  Hormones think differently.

Don’t worry, I’m not buying baby stuff yet, just getting things ready for when I do start.  Allow me to explain.  We have a three bedroom house that somehow the two of us have managed to fill.  Don’t ask me how or why we have so much stuff.  But we do. 

Up until now, we have each had our own “spare bedroom.”  So The Hubs gets to use one of them as the holding grounds for his hunting/outdoor gear (and gazillion backpacks that those activities seem to necessitate), and I got to use the other room for my stuff, like sewing and crafting.   Seems fair, right?  Well, it was fair up until the point that we decided that my room would be the nursery….meaning I would have to be the one to go through every square inch of the room and “do something” with all of the stuff. 

Oh well.  In the end, I figure it’s better me than him who has to do this because (1) I’ll actually do it and (2) I will do it in somewhat of an organized and nonmessy fashion. 

Can I just start by saying I love my room?  Er….wait.  Aside from the white wicker furniture…I love my room.  I allowed myself to decorate it with all sort of colors that I wouldn’t have the guts to do anywhere else in the house.  It always felt light and cheerful in there.   So I am somewhat sad to see it go. 

Here’s what we’re working with:

Here’s where I stored all of my supplies for beading, knitting, gift wrapping, sewing, crafting.  You name it.  I probably had it in there.

Here’s where I would sit and work on things…or put my sewing machine.  I love the magnetic strip above the desk that I could put patterns as I sewed, inspiration, or most recently the birthday drawing from my nephew.

And since it’s kind of hard to see some of my favorite details….I made a fun little collage.  Just because it will be fun to look back on someday!

Ahh yes.  I love(d) that room.

This past weekend I forced myself to stay indoors and painstakingly go through each and every item I hoarded in there.   And you know what?  It felt really good to go through it all.  I can’t believe some of the stuff I kept in there (let’s not forget the closet I didn’t show you…)! 

Of course I quickly realized that this was going to turn into a trickle-effect project.  Big time.  Because all of that stuff had to go SOMEwhere.  Right?   So it progressed into me cleaning out the hall linen closet so I’d have some space in there.  Then I cleaned out our downstairs storage area so I could put some things in there. 

Luckily, a few years ago I had the bright idea of purchasing this IKEA desk (and some matching bins for the cubbies):

The goal was to fit all of my sewing and craft items in this desk.  Yep.  Take the contents of one entire room (that is bigger than our master bedroom) and fit it into one itty bitty desk.   Great idea Janna…and hence the trickle-effect clean-outs I just mentioned above.

But you know what?  It’s done.  I did it.  In two days I got that sucker cleared out and got everything organized in its new home.   Albeit, some of the new “homes” are more appealing than others.  For example:

Welcome to your new home:  in the garbage.

And for things that I don’t want anymore, but are still good?  To donate:

That’s a lot of stuff!  Yikes.   Makes me thankful that we itemize deductions on our taxes!

Here’s what the room looks like now.

I suppose to you these pictures look very similar.  Ha.  But trust me when I say every drawer is empty.  The night stand, the dresser, the desk, the trunk, the closet.  All of it gone.  And it feels oh so good.  My only regret is that I couldn’t sit back with a glass of wine after everything was done!

Oh, I suppose you want to see what the new desk looks like, right?   Well, I wasn’t going to show you because it’s not quite polished yet…but here’s my new craft corner.  Cozy, isn’t it?

Lots left to do...please ignore the piles of stuff on the floor! And the photo ledge will not be hung there anymore...instead I'll probably re-purpose my favorite little magnetic strip!

Who would have thought getting ready for a baby would be so much work?!  And I don’t even know the half of it yet I’m sure.

Next up for the nursery?   Immediate next steps are to work with the “bones” of the room.  Wall color, furniture and arrangement.

– Paint (?)  I’m in love with the idea of painting the walls a light grey. 
– Convince The Hubs that it’s a good idea to sell the white wicker.   He’s pulling the practical card with me on that one though.  How do you argue with practicality?!
– Assuming I get to sell it….find a new dresser for the room
– Determine whether or not to keep the bed in there
– Purchase a crib
– Look into rockers and gliders
– Make a final decision about using a wall decal or mural

Once all of those are done I can move on to the more exciting parts….like colors and accessories.  And speaking of all that…I found my color inspiration from one of the most unusual places.  I’ve got a post coming up soon all about that!  Stay tuned!

P.S.  Did any of you spy the Eden Pendant lamp already installed?  Hee Hee.  Tricky I am.  I even managed to capture the dimmer install so I’ll be doing a tutorial on that soon too!

One woman’s trash…

Ok, I’m pretty much dying over here…

I just read a post from Sherry on Young House Love (one of my daily blog reads and favorite go-to DIY resource).  She just purchased a ceramic sheep head and is over-the-top excited about it.   Like wants-to-hang-it-above-her-bed-excited.  You’ve got to read it here:  http://www.younghouselove.com/2011/02/oh-no-i-diint/

For those of you that know me, you’ll totally understand why I can’t stop laughing. 

For those of you that don’t….I promise to explain soon in a future post.   I don’t have adequate time to explain right now.

To Sherry – I love your ceramic animal addiction.  Few people find such a calling in life!  If you check back and read my post, you’ll understand.

And to The Hubs:  don’t be mad.  I warned you this day would come.

A funny thing happened on the way to the ski hill

Ok, scratch that.  An AMAZING thing happened on the way to the ski hill.  I became an Auntie again! 

Please meet Ella Lorain:

Born January 20th, 4:02 a.m., 8.03 lbs, 20.5 inches.  And a cutie to boot!  Both mom and baby are doing well.  I hear she looks like this most of the time:

I am dying over here!  I need to get to Seattle and meet my new niece.  The countdown is officially on.  Congratulations Amy and Lindan!

And so it begins…

Ok.  Wow.  I did it.  I signed up for a blog…and am going to be an official blogger.   Why you ask?  Hmmm. Yes why?  To be honest I’m not quite sure!   I’ve recently found myself hooked on other peoples blogs and keep thinking to myself:  I could do that.  I’m funny.  I’m witty.  I do stuff.  Cool stuff.  Now whether or not people think what I do is interesting, I’m not sure.   

In fact, it was one of my New Years Resolutions to start a blog.  I needed an outlet.  A place to spew my thoughts, experiences, projects and opinions…and it was this or a diary.  And honestly, why would anyone start a private diary these days when they can post their deepest feelings and emotions on the Internets for everyone to read and see?  Right? 

So here I go.  I don’t know where this thing will lead me, or if it will end up in a dirty pile of gym clothes with all my other New Years Resolutions.  But I certainly hope not.