Friday, September 28, 2012

From My Husband...

The other day I posted THIS regarding the death of my husband's father.  I kindly asked Craig to read it while simultaneously preparing myself to retract it - I wasn't sure if I had delved too deep into his personal space on my little blog.  That night while lying in bed I casually asked him what he thought about my words and he proudly replied that he was going to respond to writing.  



So this is what he posted last night on my "September 19th" blog post.  

Sit down, buckle up and grab a tissue.

I have never been more proud of my husband.

This could possible be the most anticipated response to "Life in La La's Land" in the history of her blog. I have always discussed her entries with her in person, not wanting to respond on a blog. After reading her last blog, which mostly pertained to me, I figured I at least owed her a response.

September 19th is one of those days that will live with me like September 11th will with all of those lost on that awful day. It is just something that you never forget, you constantly think about, wonder why it happened, ask if it could of it be avoided, could I of done something different to change the outcome of that day. 

For many years I had always thought that I could of changed the course of history in the Nelson Family. That I could of made a difference in my father's life to change what would of happened so that he would still be here with us. But then I realized that my father had an illness that he could not overcome and it eventually took his life. Suicide is like cancer, it slowly pulls at you and pulls at you until it finally beats you down that you can not take it anymore and you are gone. That is what happened with my father.

So for all of those who have always wondered, would of liked to known, yes, my father did kill himself.

There is nothing worse than getting that call from your mother and sister saying that your father is dead and he has killed himself. No matter what anyone tells you, there are NO thoughts or feelings that can describe that moment. You are just in complete shock and horror. There is not a day that I do not think about that night, the hospital, identifying the body, being with family, watching the horror unravel in front of our faces. It is easily the longest day of my life and it is something that I would never want to relive or wish onto anyone else.

With all of that being said, I have begun to come to grips with everything and began to move on with that situation and live my life. Two big things happened in my life that really caused me to really see my life coming back into shape. One was marrying Laura and the other was having our first child, Natalie. Both of them being huge positives in my life and really showing me how great life can be.

All of that gets us to Laura's post! She is right. I have began to see what all both Natalie and my father is missing by them not being able to be a part of each other lives. He would think that she is the most precious, smart, beautiful little child he has ever seen and I know that Natalie would love to play with my father. They would play forever and he would spoiled her rotten.

How do you replace that?

What a question that really does not have a response. You can tell Natalie about my father, what he did, show her pictures of him, explain things about him. But does that really let her have the full experience of knowing him.

Do you tell her about the suicide eventually? Do you be honest with your children eventually and tell them the truth or do you hide all the negatives and tell them only the positivies?

I guess that will be up to Laura and I to decide and how we want Natalie to remember my father and the consequences of how he died.

I can tell you this, she will get to know my father as if he loved her with so much love and he was actually here on earth with her. How you ask? Because she will be getting it through me.

Not sure how this blog will rate on the bloggers rating system, but I did the best I could.

I Love You Laura and Natalie.

Monday, September 24, 2012

September 19th

I know I've been going on and on about how crazy life is right now.............but it really is honestly insane what has been thrown at us these past few weeks.  Between a flooded house, volleyball season kicking off, the regular beginning of school rush, Natalie and pink eye and now Craig sick with everything's been a zoo. 

And then to add to the mix - last Wednesday was the toughest day of the year for my husband.

I don't talk much about Craig's family because it's his family, his business and he is a much more private person than I.  His mom, grandmother and sister all live close by so we see them at least once a week and they are crucial to us being able to decide on a whim to see a movie on a Sunday night - they're always willing and happy to baby-sit Natalie.

But there's a piece missing.

Craig's father passed away ten years ago last Wednesday which was September 19th. 

Craig was 28 years old.

It was sudden, tragic and life altering.

I cannot comprehend the kind of pain that Craig and his family went through in the aftermath of his father's death.

But you know, grief is a funny thing.  I think Craig has spent the last ten years of his life working through the stages of grief and, to whatever extent one can after such a tragedy.....he has moved on in his life.  He had built a life and career for himself in the wake of an unspeakable horror.

But Natalie came along and tore apart his neatly stitched heart - the one that was ripped into pieces when his father died.

Now the seven stages of grief take on more meaning.  He is no longer mourning the loss of his father for himself and his family but for the years ahead and for his daughter.  Every year there's a day to remind us all of the relationship Natalie will never have.  The grandfather she will never know.

It makes us angry. 

Angry.  Ha.  What a small word for such a grand concept.  Is there a word greater than anger?  Furious?  Infuriated?  Rageful?  Those words don't give our feelings justice.  It makes my husband's heart scream and beat on the walls of his body because his father is gone and missing out on one of the world's greatest little girls. 

No. Anger is not the right word. There is no word for how this feels.

And I sit there helpless and sad.  Sad because I know how it feels to miss out on that relationship.  My granddaddy passed away one month before I was born. 

I want to scream for him.  I want to lash out at God and yell at him all my questions.  WHY did you let this happen?  WHY did you cause my husband such pain?  WHY is my daughter being punished for something she had absolutely no part in?

But I don't tell Craig all this.  I try not to add to the grief.  So I listen and comfort.  Console and pray.

There's another funny thing about these life altering events....the silver lining is always there, even in the darkest of nights.  Craig's father's death derailed his plans.  Made him change jobs and forced him to move in with his mom.  He took a job to be closer to her home so he could help her out.  That job he took was a the school where we met. 

And if we had never met there would be no Natalie.

It's a strange thought to me....Craig's life before his father's death.  What was Craig like?  Was he so fiercely independent and did he brush things off his shoulder so easily?  I don't know who Craig was before all this happened.  Another strange thought?  Although his father's life ended, there is a new little person out in this world walking around with 1/4 his DNA.

As it was in the beginning and ever will moves on.  We pick up the pieces and carry on.

We dread September 19th and then we get through the day with a few more meaningful glances and a sad smile here or there; then we go to bed at night with our hearts heavy and the stillness is suffocating.

Life with Natalie is tinged with a bit of sorrow for Craig.  Christmases....birthdays....and all the important milestones that come along with raising a child.  I can catch a glimpse of Craig here and there and see the distant look in his face or the heartache stitched across his smile.  It's always there.  The little reminders of who ISN'T there even when the room is crowded with family and friends all gathered for a joyous occasion.

So it's been a heavy week in addition to all the other insanity that has been thrown our way recently.

But I'm good.

I'm solid and stable.

I'm focused and not foggy.

I'm present in my family's life and able to carry as much of the weight as I can.

This is something for which I am immensely thankful.

Life isn't pretty.  It's messy and complicated and full of beauty and brutality.

But we move forward.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

iPhoning It In

It's all I've got right now but at least it's something, right? Yesterday was an all day volleyball tournament for me while Craig was home sick with pink eye, the stomach flu and a staph infection.

In other news...I'm running away with the circus. I think it would be calmer and more relaxing than living in my house right now.

Those blue eyes...just like her daddy's.

Being sick means staying indoors and wearing jammies all day.

Being sick also means copping major attitude.

Ajax is the ultimate love bug.

Having a picnic upstairs due to a lack of furniture downstairs.

Sick baby girl loving her cuddles.

Symbolic for my life, no?

Her "don't interrupt my snack" face during a volleyball game.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Seven full years in the classroom.

My first group of eighth graders are now sophomores in college.

I am closer to receiving my district's ten year pin than I am to the time when I received my five year recognition.

When I began in my district I was 22 and fresh out of college.....full of ideals, expectations and naivete.  

I didn't realize that not all children come from a loving and supportive home like mine.

I couldn't wrap my brain around the fact that some kids just don't care about school.....much less about making straight A's.

I had no idea the level of mature life experiences some of these children have gone through.

I saw the world in a wash of black and white, there was certainly no gray.

But I slowly grew up.  I shelved my wild nights out on the town for a good movie and an even better book.  I quit guy-hopping and settled down with a steady man.  Shades of gray began to peek into my world and I found myself more compassionate and understanding with my students.

And then I had Natalie and everything was flipped.

She cracked my heart wide open and allowed me to be the warm, supportive and nurturing teacher and coach my students deserve.  She taught me that kids come as they are and it's my job to help mold them into what I envision they CAN be which isn't always what I WANT them to be. 
She has made me softer, more compassionate and a completely determined to see the WHOLE child and not just the bad attitude that walks into my classroom.
I feel like this is the year that I'm starting to hit my stride.  I'm at that wonderful point where I have enough experience to not be walked all over but I'm still young enough to where I believe I truly can change a child's life. 
Although taking on a different courseload this year which involves teaching a brand new subject kind of intimidated me in the beginning, I'm thankful that I stepped out of my comfort zone and took this opportunity. 
The hours are long and the days are busy but I'm fully consumed with love for my job.  I hit the ground running but I feel like I'm one of those people who thrive under pressure.  I enjoy having a to-do list and being challenged on a daily basis.  I've been asked multiple times this year if I'm just completely stressed because of my schedule and I'm starting to think I'm doing something wrong because I'm NOT!  Instead it's quite the opposite - because I know that I have deadlines and a limited amount of time to get things done, I become MUCH more focused and detailed when planning and preparing lessons and practices.  Maybe it's the pressure or the seven years of experience under my belt but I've had a lazer-like focus this year and a clear vision of what I need to accomplish in the gym during the week in order to make my teams successful on Monday and Thursday nights. 
Teachers right now are getting a bad rap.  There seems to be a political agenda out there to the nation that teachers are leeches on the back of society; draining financial resources while failing to produce any sort of measurable amount of success in the classroom.   And to those in public office who have their panties in a wad over the state of education in this country - you go ahead and make your speeches and spew your hateful (and false) rhetoric on the morning news programs.  Because while you're shamelessly stirring the pot and promoting yourself, I'm working.  I'm putting together lesson plans and modifying them for those students who struggle.  I'm listening to kids cry about missing their big brothers and wonder how I can reach a student whose heart is sadly hardened at twelve years old.  I'll keep helping them with their homework in the gym before I coach a volleyball game while I worry about the girl who sits by herself and apart from the team. 
I am in the trenches doing the best I can with what I've been given and within the restricting confines of the measures that you have put into place while sitting in your ivory tower. 
I didn't get into teaching for the politics, to teach to a test or to have my summers off.  Even at the age of seventeen while I was a senior in high school, I had the intuition that I didn't want to leave this Earth without have impacted someone or something in any kind of way.  So I chose to teach because I love the smile on a kid's face when they succeed on a test or make a good serve.  I teach because there's a lot of bad in this world and it makes my heart hurt.  I teach because I want to be the good in someone's life. 
I just have this's gonna be a good school year.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

When it rains....

Blogging has been light the past few weeks, no?

Well.....there is a reason.

Let's recap, shall we?

August 27th: School starts which includes a new course load for me (two sections of Texas History)

August 28th: Volleyball try-outs begin which kick off the two months of the year where I work from 7:15 until at least 5:45 every day.

August 30th: Natalie overflows the toilet and floods the house.  I work from 7:15 until 8:30 that night due to Open House.

August 30th - September 2nd: Natalie is shlepped between my in-law's home and my parent's house because we have huge industrial fans throughout our home to dry up the mess she created.

September 5th and 6th: Back to back volleyball games resulting in me working two 12+ hour days in a row.

September 10th - 12th: Workers are at our home repairing and painting the ceiling, walls and baseboards in the downstairs living room.  All flooring is ripped up off the ground.  My living room furniture and all belongings from Natalie's room and playroom are moved to other locations WHILE I AM NOT THERE TO SUPERVISE!  Grr.

Today, September 13th: Craig takes Natalie to her 18-month check-up and gets a surprising result - she has pink eye and cannot return to day-care Thursday or Friday.  Oh.  And it's another 12 hour day - I've got a volleyball game tonight.

For the love of all that is holy.......get me a glass of wine.  Stat.

A Welcome Weekend

Friday night I sat at dinner alone with Craig after we had scoured several home improvement stores for the paint and flooring necessary to complete our living room and upstairs areas damaged by Natalie.  And as we discussed the week and all our stuff coming up in the next month, I teared up.

I felt like a simply awful mother.

I felt disconnected from my child, my husband and even my four legged furries.  For the past few weeks due to school and volleyball starting and then combined with the colossal home reconstruction we're dealing with, I've been floating in and out of the house.  Mornings are spent with me taking a shower and getting ready for work while Natalie plays with her toys and reads around me.  The evenings are filled with hurried dinners, rushed and stressful playtime which is shortly followed by bedtime with Daddy while I unwind in the bedroom. 

With tears threatening to overflow, I looked at Craig and told him that I was terrified of falling into the same trap as my mother.

My mother was the beloved youth minister at our church for ten years while I was growing up.  My teenage existence was greatly influenced by Catholic youth conferences, Wednesday night catechism classes and lots of community service projects.  I could easily look around and see the GOOD works that my mother was doing with my peers.  They all loved her....but more importantly they showed her respect.  She was kind, compassionate, funny and intelligent - the perfect mix for a great youth minister.

Except if you're her daughter.

In order to be so incredibly awesome at her job, ministering to the youth of our extremely large parish required a lot of hours spent outside the home on the weekend and evenings.  Despite my teenage angst and the good amount of pushing away I did from my parents, I desperately wanted my mom at home with me and my dad.

I guess I felt that since she spent so much time ministering to other kids.....she must love them (or at least like them) more than me.

So as I sat there in the booth at Cotton Patch Cafe, I looked into Craig's blue eyes and whispered "I spend more time with my athletes than I do with Natalie."  I was so ashamed that I had shirked on my parenting duties........last week she got my leftover energy, my frustration and my exhaustion.  I was fearful that she would grow up resenting me for focusing on my athletes during the season, just as I had with my mother and the youth ministry kids.

I don't want Natalie to ever doubt how much I love her and the important role she serves in my life.

Craig looked at me sorrowfully.  His daddy was a high school basketball coach.  He understood.

So Saturday morning rolled in with cooler temperatures, a bright sun and a fun birthday party at a local amusement park.  As we rolled into the park I breathed deeper than I had in a week.  This was exactly what we needed.  A few hours as a family devoid of any distractions or other obligations.  Just the three of us running around a park and spending time celebrating two of her favorite friends.

Riding around in the boat.

She didn't quite grasp the concept of ringing the bell or turning the wheel.

She is definitely her Granddaddy's granddaughter.  She knew exactly what to do while seated in this little pink hotrod.

My little speed racer.

Going up and down on the flying fish.
And of course no birthday party is complete without icing on a nose.

Cute ice cream cone cupcakes!

As we drove home from the party and Natalie fell asleep in her carseat, I smiled to myself.  I took a deep breath and sighed.  She isn't going to remember Momma not being there during volleyball season but she will look at the pictures and see what a great time the three of us had on a beautiful Saturday morning in September.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


The first weekend of school was tough.




But peaceful all the same.

Friday night I cried while dropping Natalie off at my in-laws home for her second night of slumber partying at their house.  We still have so many industrial fans and humidifiers in our house that it just isn't safe for her to sleep in her room right now.  I watched her walk to the door holding her daddy's hand but her head turned back at me, confusion etched all across her sweet face.  I put my sunglasses on and turned my head away.

And then I called my mother.

Natalie was scheduled to spend the night at her home Saturday and Sunday evening and in that moment, I couldn't fathom having to say good-bye to my baby for two more nights.  After a short conversation filled with tears, it was settled - I would be spending Saturday evening with my daughter at my parent's home. 

My heart smiled.

Saturday morning Natalie and I attended the birthday party of my dear friend Jill's daughter.  Jill and her husband recently moved into a gorgeous new home further from me but closer to her husband's job downtown.  Their new home is completely fabulous and Jill has a fantastic eye for design and decor.  And I came home to no floors and a hole in my ceiling.

While at the party I experienced the first wave of social anxiety with Natalie.  Having to stand by and watch her interact with small girls her own age all fighting over the same play kitchen and fake food.

Will the other kids like her?  
Will she be included in their play?  
Is she interested in playing with other kids?  
Are her feelings going to get hurt?  
What if she is rude and mean to another child?

I knew I couldn't intervene.  I had to sit back and watch her figure it out all on her own.

It was excruciating.

She was the quiet one.  The one who kind of let kids push in front of her.  And she didn't know how to to react.  Her big blue eyes found mine, confusion etched across her sweet face.  I was paralyzed.  There were tons of adults in the room - parents and grandparents of the other children.  Do I encourage her to stand up for herself and get back the toys that were taken from her?  Or do I remind her of putting others first and waiting her turn for the toys?

In the end........I nodded reassuringly and kept my mouth shut.

Shortly thereafter the newness of the kitchen wore off and the other little girls scattered among the other new toys and Natalie had the whole thing more or less to herself.  She happily went about her busy pattern of cooking, eating and showing me what she had produced.

One grandmother attending the party commented to me, "she sure does look back at you for your approval."

I smiled and mentioned something about her having been gone the past few nights due to construction.  But inside I was cringing.  My stomach dropped and my heart clenched.

My approval.  Her mother's approval.  My mother's approval.

My God, I thought.  What have I done to my little girl?  Have I already damaged her so much that she cannot do anything without constantly checking with me for my approval?  I want her to be brave.  I want her to be confident.  I don't want her self worth to hinge on my opinion, my judgment or my assessment.  I want her to be proud based on her own merits not on some set of expectations that I've placed on her.


I am a teacher.  I am a coach.  Expectations and boundaries are my language.  I use them with my students not to punish or discipline but to encourage and help them flourish.  As a parent my job is to impress upon my daughter the importance of setting goals, working hard, doing her best and treating others with kindness and respect all along the way.  

So how do I set expectations for her without instilling in her the idea that I am the one she has to impress?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Movie Date Night

Craig and I live close to the best thing ever invented for parents of small children.

A dine-in movie theater.

No joke.

It's pretty awesome.  And a little expensive but well worth the money.

We've been several times in the past few months because it's close, it's air conditioned and it's a nice three hour date that doesn't involve a whole lot of driving and can bring us back home by (our) bedtime.

So what have we seen lately?

The Dark Knight Rises
Two very enthusiastic thumbs up
I have had a geeky love affair for Batman ever since my brothers made me watch the one with Jack Nicholson as the Joker.  I guess I love a man with a dark side?!  I almost didn't want it to end because I know that Christopher Nolan has vehemently denied that he will be involved in any other sort of Batman related project.  But....but....he left us hanging with the introduction of the Robin character!  Ugh.

And to add to my geekiness.....I found this on Facebook one day and cracked up.


The Campaign
Two thumbs up
Craig loves stupid Will Ferrell humor and I love witty political commentary so this was a win-win for the two of us.  The writer, director and producer of this movie definitely have some strong feelings regarding negative political ads, campaign financing and politicians in general.  Since I agree with their stance, I enjoyed the movie but if you're not on board with their opinions, it might not be the movie for you.

The Expendables
One thumb up
Totally lame but we needed to get out of the house and this was the only thing even considerably watchable. It was pretty predictable but at least the guys in the movie were kind of IN on the joke, if you know what I mean.  I think all the actors realized that this whole thing was ridiculous and so no one took themselves (or the plotline) too terribly serious.  So I must give credit for that I suppose.

The Bourne Legacy
Two thumbs up
The movie was great and just what we expected - a slightly complicated plot set-up in the beginning followed up with lots of intense fighting, sexual tension, running for your life and a spectacular car chase in a foreign country.  Standard Bourne formula?  Absolutely. was fun.

And looking at the fall family calendar I just updated...........we're going to need some nights out in the very near future.  So what is coming out this fall that I am itching to see?

The Words - September 7th
The previews are pretty intriguing and I just love Bradley Cooper - even more since I learned that he is completely fluent in French.  Not sure why, but it kind of reminds me of The Hours - a great thinking movie.  

Trouble with the Curve - September 21st
Let's be honest....I wasn't too interested until I saw Justin Timberlake's face pop up in the previews but by the end of the trailer my eyes were welling up with tears.  Fathers and daughters sharing something they love?  Count.  Me.  In.  Some of my best summer memories involve me tagging along to the junkyard with my dad in search of a car part.

Taken 2 - October 5th
The first movie is probably on Craig's top five list of favorite movies ever.  I'll be honest - it really freaked me out didn't exactly make the smartest decisions when I was young and travelling through Europe so I guess it hits pretty close to home for me.  But Craig and I love any chance to see a good action movie - especially one with Liam Neeson.

Argo - October 12th
Historical action movie starring Ben Affleck with a semi mullet?  Sold.  

Skyfall - November 9th
I love, love, love James Bond.  And although I was a little wary of Daniel Craig taking the reins of the franchise, I think that he has done a wonderful job bringing the character back to reality and away from the cheese factor that Pierce Brosnan ended his run with.

Breaking Dawn Part II - November 9th
Don't judge.  I've read the entire series and this, when Bella finally becomes a vampire, was my favorite part of all four books.  Seriously.  I hated the fact that she was such a whiny girl who was completely wrapped up in being with a man.  Ugh.  So when she finally became a vampire and found her strength and power - that's when I liked her.  Don't worry.  I'm not dragging Craig to this one.

Les Miserable - December 19th
And this.  THIS.  This is the one I am most excited about.  This is the one I will preorder tickets for.  This is the one whose trailer has caused me to cry every single time I see it.  This is the one that I fell in love with as a small child.  This is the one that I saw by myself in the theater district of London.  This is the one where I will desperately fight the urge to sing along with every song.  Fellow movie're welcome.  I absolutely cannot wait for this movie to come out.

This is 40 - December 21st
When this trailer comes up during any of the movies that we've seen lately, Craig and I just look at each other and grin.  Yep.  It looks like it's going to be something that we will be able to relate to very easily.

So that's what we'll be spending our fun money on this fall.  It looks like an average of two movies a month so hopefully we'll be able to make it happen!  And if not....there's always On Demand.  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Dirty Thirty.....Making it Happen

Next year I turn thirty.

I am okay with this.

I am actually MORE than okay with this.

Most of the friends that I run around with in our little town are in their thirties.  I'm the baby of the group.

I hate being the youngest.

But I do love lists.  And accomplishing things.

So this is what I'm doing in the year before I turn thirty.  It's not a static list.  It's not even a completed list.  I will add things here and there.  I will blog about the adventures.  Or I might not.  But I'm going to be proactive and try to step out of my comfort zone before I hit the big 3-0.

Here's what I have thus far:

1. Eat at a Chinese buffet. - DONE
2. Spend five minutes in The Anger Room.
3. Do some touristy stuff in DFW (Holocaust Museum and the Sixth Floor Museum).
4. Read a "classic" novel that I cliff noted in high school - DONE (The Great Gatsby)
5. Take one of those group painting classes.
6. Send birthday cards to all my friends celebrating 30 in the upcoming year.
7. Refinish one major piece of furniture for my home.
8. Eat at ALL FIVE of the DFW restaurants on Food Network or The Travel Channel.
9. Take a cooking class.
10. Volunteer at an animal shelter.
11. Write meaningful letters to all my immediate family members.
12. Attend the Blissdom blogger conference in March.  (It's five minutes from my house.  I have no excuse NOT to go!)
13. Forgive.  Move on.  (Toughest one on the list.)

I'll add things here or there as they come up and I'll blog about some of the things I've done.  But I'm already working on a few - attending the Blissdom conference and sending cards to my friends.  There are some that Craig is totally on board with - the touristy stuff and eating at new restaurants.  There are some that he is a bit skeptical of - The Anger Room and attending Blissdom.

We shall see.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Mrs. Bright Side

All weekend my focus concerning this whole toilet-overflowing debacle is to see on the bright side of things.  To view this mini-disaster as a "glass is half full" kind of thing.  I've been looking hard for the silver lining of this dark little cloud.

I could come up with many more cliches......

I digress.

A new living room.  This is the bright spot in the destruction that has overtaken my house right now.  It's kind of like that book we all read in elementary school, if Laura gets new floors, she's going to want to paint the walls.  If Laura paints the walls, she's going to need to art.  If Laura buys new art.........

Well.  You see where this is going.

The other day (before a new living room became a reality through massive amounts of toilet paper) I was literally stopped in my tracks by this painting at Hobby Lobby.


Now, I know it's no Renoir or Picasso or anything worth REAL money.  But it's bright.  And a statement piece for over the mantel.  It draws your eyes in.  It's a color combination I NEVER EVER would have put together on my own.  

But it's beautiful.  The soft and calm turquoise with a bright burst of orange.  


And then what was sitting right next to it in the display?


Obviously these are signs from the heavens that God desperately wants me to have this gorgeous new living room, right?

Well.  That might be stretching it a bit but I think this is the direction I want to head.

And next I did what every woman does these days........consulted Pinterest.

Alright. That's a big fat NO to the orange couches but hopefully you can see the mixture of colors.  Bright and serene at the same time, right?  I love the turquoise vases on the table....I KNOW I've pinned something that could help me do that for cheap.  And I really like the wall color on the left wall - a really light and inviting turquoise.

An even better and softer paint color combined with the light couches and pops of color.  THIS is more what I would be going for in our living room.  We aren't going to be getting rid of any big pieces of furniture and everything we have is a dark brown so it would all have to "go" together.  That's why I like seeing the dark brown coffee table in this photo - shows me that I could definitely mix it all up.

How fun are those mirrors and side tables?!  I could DEFINITELY find something like that and refinish them in a bright color.

We would need a new rug and curtains which could get a little expensive (but Christmas IS coming up soon).  Maybe something like this?  I know that with such a bright color as orange I can't go overboard with using it - it must be infused into the living room sparingly and with purpose to make a statement.

And pillows....all the fun pillows.

Source: via Laura on Pinterest

And then what would be my BIG project for the new living room........

Source: via Laura on Pinterest

Source: via Laura on Pinterest

A vintage style, refinished, painted turquoise sideboard for the living room.


I have made the promise to myself to refinish ONE major piece of furniture before I turn thirty next year.  Maybe this would be a good candidate?

So all this redecorating begs the question......what would I do with all my old stuff?  Well, Craig and I have grand plans to move the formal dining room into the "trophy room" and then create a fun study in the grand front room.  I could go with the brown and green theme in the new dining room and use all my old decor (even the curtains and rug) in that new room.  

And of course Craig is seeing the bottom line - the cost.  With the advent of Pinterest, I've really been inspired to do this thing on a moderate budget.  I'm fairly crafty and pretty determine (and VERY picky) so I think.....even though it might take some time......that I can put this fabulous new room together without breaking the bank.  

What makes me saddest right now about my house is the fact that we can't really have over any visitors.  No one wants to eat dinner in a construction zone, you know?  And besides....we have friends with little children and exposed wood and concrete isn't very safe for all their sweet feet.  

So.  This rules out most of my plans for get-togethers at house during football season.

My goal is to have a big Super Bowl party in January (February?) to have friends over to not only watch football but to show off our brand new living room.  That's the goal at least.

And that's the bright side as well.