I stumbled across this list of 25 things about me written several years ago. It’s generally still true, I still swear in front of my kids, refuse to hem pants and get tired of gardening by August. Photo 2009, by Todd Rosenberg
1. I’m really tired most of the time. Ok, all of the time.
2. Both my kids came very early and were rushed off to the NICU. I feel random guilt about this and still get kind of weepy every time I see a “TV moment” where everyone’s happy and the baby is placed on the chest. I saw one of those tonight, so now its in the note.
3. If I wasn’t in arts education I’d probably be an interior designer. I really like to waste time rearranging furniture and thinking about that stuff. (Instead, four years later I’m starting a blog)
4. I am frequently amazed that a dance education that began in Arkansas led to such a fantastic career.
5. I met my husband when I was 19. Which seems kind of ridiculous now.
6. I don’t like to hem pants so I wear heels most of the time. But only comfortable heels, they have to pass the Roan test.
7. I’m huge advocate of breastfeeding and have nursed my preemies waaaay past most people’s comfort level.
8. I had no idea I was so granola about some things till I became a parent.
9. I swear in front of my kids. Roan used to say dammit a lot. It seems to have slowed down now.
10. I was a vegetarian for 10 years, but since it turned out not to be a life decision I feel weird saying it, like I’m trying to be cool but I’m faking it.
11. I was on the drill team in high school. Pretty much everyone who knows me now has to see photographic proof to believe it. I think that’s probably a good thing.
12. I like to start with things that are completely screwed up and fix them so everything is my way. At least with houses and jobs.
13. I really like to get my own way. But I like to think that I’m open-minded.
14. I’m not religious. At all.
15. I yell too much. See #1.
16. I like to garden. Or rather, I like to garden in the spring. I’m usually tired of it by August.
17. My mother is British. My father is from Michigan. They met in a bike club in Michigan. I was born and raised in Arkansas. Where I was once asked “so, what language does your mom speak?”.
18. I’m terrified of ending up like my mother, physically, but can only hope to be as good a mom as she is (I love you Mom).
19. I know some really interesting people these days that I don’t get to spend enough time with.
20. I find it very difficult to create and maintain real friendships as an adult.
21. I’m the person who always promises to write and never does. But I do think about it.
22. I spend too much time on the computer and too little time playing.
23. I wonder what it is I’ve searched on facebook that makes their targeted marketing think I would be interested in botox.
24. I don’t like clutter and mess. I’m trying to reconcile that with life with kids.
25. I moved once a year for 12 years, but have now been in the same house for 8 years.
There was much painting this weekend. A little more than planned when I discovered that the can of paint that I thought was Roan’s room color was not. So walls were painted, as well as the floor. I’m still a little sore from all the bending, this room is a good waist workout with all the angles. Washi tape, side table and rug are on the way. We’ve drawn up plans for the door. The room color is growing on me, I think it will be fine once everything else is in the room.
This weekend was the fourth anniversary of our backyard renovation, a moment I celebrate annually. In the midst of being thankful for our personal freedoms and grateful for those who made and continue to make that possible, we also quietly mark a major achievement for our home. This was one of the moments that made us realize we really could turn this hideous house around. Think I’m exaggerating? Wait till you see the before shots. You’ve seen the front of the house when we bought it. It’s not fabulous, but it doesn’t make you want to run the other direction screaming. This my friends, was our backyard view.
And we’re back. Today let’s look at what we’re planning for this space. I put together a mood board and potential floor plan. The floor plan looks ridiculous, it illustrates just how tiny this space is.
I mentioned earlier this week that a redo of the small one’s bedroom was up next in my list of projects. Let’s take a quick tour of his current set-up and look at what we’re thinking of changing. Roan’s room is a mish-mash of furniture that was purchased originally for other areas of the house. The chair, rug and side table used to be in our living room (you can see them here). We purchased the bed for our daughter and then gave it to him when we found a different option for her. It’s a good choice for a little boy though, steel beds are indestructible. The duvet cover was also originally Emmeth’s, purchased when she was three for her first room. Its held up really well.
Finn built this lovely bamboo pergola last summer to provide better support to my wildly overgrown wisteria and shade the small patio he’d built the summer before. The wisteria had to be cut off its previous support, but is coming back nicely this spring. Our little yard faces west and has no trees (it was paved over completely when we moved in) so this little spot is our one patch of shade for diners al fresco and general relaxing. It had one major drawback. Mosquitoes tended to make the evening hours unbearable. I stumbled upon this site listing mosquito repellent plants and thought I’d try stocking the planter boxes that surround the space with them this year. The weather last weekend was lovely and my garden has been neglected, so I pulled out all the baby trees from the planter boxes and went shopping. I had to go to a couple garden centers to find them all, although if I’d started here I wouldn’t have had to try so many places.
First I laid out my plants.
Lemongrass, mint and marigolds. A random carnation I’d been given for Mother’s Day. It was looking a little too sparse, so off I went again, this time looking for rosemary, more mint and something that trailed for interest.
Today I thought I’d take you through my daughter’s room. We completely gutted it last year and redecorated it (what we found behind the walls is a whole other story), moving it from the toddler/preschool era into a style more befitting who she is now. The space is tiny, with lots of architectural challenges. Our upstairs is an overgrown attic. Someone added a half-dormer at one point, poorly. The ceilings are low, there are no doors, no closets and few walls. Each end of the upstairs has a small room, 10 feet square, with pitched sides. We’ve made these the children’s rooms and of necessity they are designed simply. Each room has a twin bed, a desk, a dresser and shelves built into the knee wall (well, the small one’s will someday, his shelves are still on the project list).
A friend recently asked me to take a look at her living room and provide some guidance. Her style is very different from mine (plus she lives far away, so I haven’t even seen the space), but I thought it would be fun to stretch my boundaries and see if I could come up with something. Her living room space is similar to mine, long and narrow with lots of doorways and windows to work around. It also needs to function as TV space, office, music room and general living for their family of nine (9!), ages one and up. Definitely a challenge.
Remember the Owl Cake Disaster? After saving that one I was ready to swear off baking for a while. The tall one, however, had other ideas. Her class is in charge of a fundraising event, Hootenanny for Haiti. The logo is, guess what, an owl. That’s right. So on Tuesday she informed me that she’d told her teacher about the cake from her birthday and that I was probably making another one for the Hootenanny. At least she put in probably. Although she may have added that in when she noticed my expression half-way through the sentence. Oh well, I had signed up to bring a baked good of some kind. I’d pretty much planned on phoning it in with break and bake cookies given my work schedule, but what the hell. And because of this, my dear readers, I have an owl cake tutorial for you. I know, I think its pretty awesome too.
So, like all great cakes, this one begins with cake batter. This one is a chocolate cake, using my favorite recipe. Gather your dry ingredients.
Remember the turquoise chandelier project? Finn just reminded me he has some time off coming up which means I must. make. plans. Right?
When we put up the chandelier I mentioned that I wanted to add a patterned ceiling to the tiny space. Here’s a view of what we’re working with:
Now I need your help. Which pattern should I put up there? Here are some images I’m thinking about.
I’m leaning towards the chevron. What do you think? Any other suggestions?