Saturday, August 15, 2015

Renovations Continued...

What a boring title of a post!  Seriously.  I could've done better.  But my brain is a little fried from camping this last week with my family.  We took the 3 boys and our baby girl for a 5 day camping trip to Penticton, British Columbia.  It was such a beautiful rest before the craziness of the new renovation begins in a couple weeks.

Ok, this post is dedicated to Macy's nursery.   This is her room the day we bought the house:

And then after we moved in, it became a "catch-all" room.  

Once we found out we were pregnant, we knew it would become a nursery.  And then after finding out  the baby was a SHE (!!!) I went to town on pinterest.  (Who doesn't love pinterest, am I right?!).  So I gathered all of my favorite ideas and created Macy's room. Here it is:

Decorating Macy's room was my Christmas gift from Ryan.  But almost everything in there was DIY.  

The rocker is the same one we used for all of the boys but was re-covered by my mom. The rug, the curtains, the chandelier and the dresser were all Ikea purchases. 

The little bird there was a random find at Fred Meyer (a grocery store) and I spray painted it gold. 

This was totally random. I had leftover pink paint (from painting the chandelier pink) and I had some gold paint. I went in the backyard and did this little thing in literally…maybe 3-4 minutes. If that. It's weird and random and I like it. 

This print is from Jones Design Company.  I love the scripture; it is the first part of Philippians 4:8 …"fill your mind with beauty and truth."  The rest of the verse goes on to say "meditate on whatever is honourable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy." Mmm…so much good truth in that portion of Scripture. 

Also…on a practical note,  the colors just went with well with MJ's room. 

My mom made Macy's crib bumper and sheets. Ya know…because she's amazing like that. The ruffled crib skirt is from Pottery Barn kids.

My best friend, Katherine, surprised me with this handmade artwork for Macy's nursery. I just happened to have the perfect spot for it!

This little porcelain baby was given to me by my great Aunt Ruby when I was born. 

This cute little trinket was in my room growing up. I always loved it and had it somewhere near my bed.  

We may have a slight headband obsession...

After having 3 boys, I was itching to add some pink to our house! And as much fun as it was decorating Macy Jo's room…it's way more fun having her in our lives. She's just the best.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

So we're moving…again.

I figured it's about darn time I finished our renovation pictures because WE'RE MOVING. Again. We bought another dump about 20 minutes away and will be fixing it up.  I'll write about that one day soon and share the way God totally orchestrated the purchase of our new place and the sale of this house.

But in the  meantime it's been bugging me that I started documenting the renovation process and stopped before I could finish all of the "after" pics. ( I took a break from writing about our renovations because our daughter arrived prematurely in February.  You can read about that here.  Also, I just flat got lazy.)  So let's finish this!  Today I'll tackle the kitchen.

Since it's been a while, let's look back at the kitchen before:

And here is the kitchen now:

We are so happy with the way the kitchen turned out.  My father-in-law owns a high-end kitchen cabinet company and he hooked us up.  Together with my husband, he designed the layout of the kitchen in order to maximize our storage space.  (1800 square feet with 4 kids needs as much storage space as possible!).  We went with melamine cabinets, which is the cheapest option.  Our big "splurge" (of the entire house, actually) was the caesar stone island.  But even that was a remnant at the store and so we got it for cheaper than if we'd bought it new.

I need to pause right now and give my awesome sister-in-law HUGE props for helping with the design of the house.  Miranda is an interior designer and she made this process oh so easy for me. I rarely called my husband with questions; it was usually Miranda.  She met me and helped me envision almost every aspect of this house: lights, tile, paint, countertops, etc.  THANK YOU MIRANDA!!!

The pendant lights over the island were the first thing I bought after we closed on the house. I'd been eyeing these seeded glass globe pendants from West Elm.  They were a steal at $30 each and I love them.  Unfortunately they no longer sell them so I can't use them in the next house. (insert sad face emoji).

I should have mentioned that the island is actually not melamine.  Melamine cabinets only come in white. I wanted the island to be grey so these cabinets are actually wood and they are a shade called "lamplighter grey."  It's very subtle but I liked it.  To be honest though, I won't use it in the next house. But that's only because the island is such a high-traffic area and our kids have chipped and nicked the paint a ton. Next time I'll go with my sister-in-law's idea and either get the island stained or have it done with reclaimed wood. 

I'll tell ya right now the BIGGEST thing we regret in our house is buying these floors. They show EVERYTHING.  I literally vacuum at least 3-4 times a day.  Don't buy cheap floors friends. It'll cost you your sanity. 

Because of our budget, we couldn't afford to do caesar stone in the entire kitchen.  So on the perimeter I did a grey laminate. Laminate has come A LONG way! I love the marble-looking laminate in our master bathroom, for example. But this grey laminate…oh I do not like it at all. 

So there's our kitchen reno! Later this week I'll finish up our reno. 


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Welcoming Macy Jo: Part 2

I meant to write this follow up to part 1 of Macy's story a looooong time ago, but such is life with 4 kids.  I think about things, promptly forget, and then they happen (maybe) a month later.  So…yeah.

But I didn't want to not write this mainly because writing it down is my form of remembering.  So if no one but me ever reads this, I'm ok with that.  Well, I'll make my husband read it.  And my parents.  And my in-laws.  Ok, I would definitely be offended if I was the only one to read it.  I can admit that.

Back to Macy Jo…

After she was able to breathe on her own, things started getting much better.  The main goal was for her to gain weight and to eat.  She couldn't go home until she was off of the feeding tube (the tube that's sticking out of her nose) and she also had to be back at her birth weight (4.8 lbs).

Apparently, babies do not usually begin to have the suckle-reflex until they are about 37 weeks.  Because Macy was born at 33 weeks and 6 days, the doctors and nurses kept telling me not to expect her to even try to nurse until she was 37 weeks.  

But our Macy-girl.  She showed them.  She showed all of us!  At a whopping 5 days old, Macy latched on and started breastfeeding like she'd always known how.  (don't worry…I won't show you a picture of that. I'm pro-breastfeeding, not pro-let me show the whole world).  She would tire very quickly, so it was a day at a time.  Some days she'd try and others she was too tired.  

We had lots of awesome NICU nurses and we were SO grateful for the quality of care we received at Surrey Memorial Hospital.  ((One great thing about Canada: FREE MEDICAL.  That's right…we didn't pay one penny for Macy's amazing care.))  

Macy and I loved having visitors but none more than Ryan and the boys.  

The big brothers were totally smitten!

My in-laws helped so so much, especially that first week after MJ arrived.  They took charge of our kids and it was incredible.  When Macy was a week old, my mom flew in to help too.

Ryan's parents and my mom just seeing Macy for the first time

At 6 days old, all sorts of fun things started happening. I got to dress Macy for the first time...

…and she got the top of her incubator removed to start allowing her to regulate her own body temperature. 

I call this one Macy's "no! they put me in an ugly terry cloth towel" photo.

At 7 days old, Macy had enough wires out that she was able to have her first bath...

Those are definitely Ryan's hairy arms. NOT mine. Just want to be clear.

A cute swaddling blanket from Nana made the terry cloth towel a little more bearable. :)

 And a couple of days after that, Macy graduated out of her incubator and into a "joey bed."  I'm sure it's an acronym and I'm sure I'm slaughtering the spelling, but they called it a Joey bed so that's what it is.

The second week we were in the NICU really concentrated on Macy nursing.  Once she was able to get the hang of it, we knew we'd be able to head home.  In the meantime, it was a great week.

The boys came and visited more…

Noah had been praying for a sister since he was 3.  This is his first time to hold her. (tears)
I also had quite a few special deliveries show up during the week.  One of my favorites was Starbucks showing up in my room at least 3 or 4 times that week (thank you Heidi!!)...

Another favorite was this INCREDIBLE cookie bouquet sent to us by my folks.  They had my dear friend, Julie, owner of The Whisk, create this beautiful masterpiece. 

I also got to start playing dress up with Macy Jo.  Her being so teeny made it tricky but we found some things that worked!

When she was 2 weeks old, Macy did it.  She hit her birth weight AND nursed exclusively for 24 hours.  At rounds that morning, the doctors decided that we could go home that day!  We scrambled to find a preemie car seat (yes, there is such a thing), and I got packed and ready to go.  

The night she was discharged from the hospital, my dad flew in to town.  He came straight to the hospital and hung out with her until the dr released us.

There were so many things I wanted to remember from our time in the NICU.  Her first room. Her first bed. Every nurse that kept her alive and fed.  The Ronald McDonald house, where I stayed for almost the entire 2 weeks.  And then the day before we left the hospital, a good friend, who also happens to be a genius photographer, popped by.  As we sat and visited, she snapped some priceless pictures that really help me remember (almost) every detail of our hospital stay:

Thank you for these memories Melody.  I love you to pieces. 

… I think the thing I wanted to remember the most was what eventually came to be called "Macy's wall." 

 The wall changed and evolved every day.  The boys would draw on it (usually superheroes).  I'd write down scriptures that friends sent me.  People would sign it when they came in the room.  But the day we left to go home, that up there is what it looked like.  Those 4 scriptures remained on the wall the entire time, regardless of what else was written.  They carried me and reminded me of who Macy belonged to.  (The wall was also an interesting topic of discussion with every nurse we had.)

And then, just as quickly as we arrived, it was time to go.

Me and my girl in her room getting ready to go

It was so weird, and a little surreal, to be able to just hold her.  We hadn't been able to do this seemingly simple thing without the help of a nurse or without wires until this moment.  It was awesome.

And then... we were home.  

There are no words that are adequate enough to say THANK YOU to so many who prayed.  I felt so incredibly carried and covered during my stay in the hospital.  Thank you to those who brought food--we were provided with almost 40 days worth of meals.  You guys are amazing. And our family…again, I just don't have words.  The body of Christ is an amazing thing.

A couple of weeks after we came home, my friend Melody came to our house and did some candid shots with the family.  I'll finish Macy's story with these...