Monthly Archives: August 2015

This too Shall Pass

“Boo boos heal.” – Mini Gwinn

Sometimes his three year old sentences give me pause and remind me of the wisdom hidden in simplicity.

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Nostalgia for Pinewood Derby Racing

Earlier this week the little guys and myself were on our mecca to Target to gather supplies for our block party this weekend. The sun was dancing across the lake’s surface as the boys played peek a boo with one another, and I was thinking of how lucky 2.0 is to have such a loving big brother. As this thought struck me, an old fashioned hearse drove past us. Granted, I see hearses several times a week because of our proximity to a large cemetery, but this one caught my attention. It looked almost exactly like one of my pinewood derby cars my dad had made for me as a child.

That probably seems macabre for a six year old girl to want her pinewood derby car to be a hearse. However, genetics aside, my dad and I share a dry, odd sense of humor, and we both thought this was a great design for my Awanas derby race. He painted it black with silver windows and gave it a glossy sheen, even going so far as to draw little feet prints on the back window. I remember that year my older brother’s pinewood derby car had a traditional wedge shape. Our dad had painted it red with yellow detailing, possibly flames or lightning bolts. One of the endless benefits of having a dad with world class paining talents is that our pinewood derby cars always looked fantastic (he really is incredibly talented. I’ve seen his cars featured in car shows. People travel from Florida to Tennessee to have him do their Vipers.).

I was pulled back into the present by nearly identical peals of laughter in my backseat. Their voices and faces, so similar, are shared by the sibling relationship my brother and I have. And as much as he and I tend to see black and white, we have so many differences as well. This made me wonder how different my own boys will be from one another, and how they’ll grow together into adulthood. Will they have similar temperaments, or will they continue on the paths their personalities are already on, diverging from one another? Mini Gwinn exhibited control and restraint at such an early age, remaining content and contained even now. 2.0 is a ticking time bomb, waiting to explode the moment something goes amiss.

My hearse didn’t place that year. My brother’s race car went on to the finals. The year before, my school bus hadn’t done so well, either. But the next year, my milk jug car placed second overall, surpassing my brother’s. Looking back to that age, my dad let loose the reins and gave me freedom to be myself. That’s something I can forever say about him- he never pushed for me to be anything else (except during the crayon incident). I hope I have that same strength as a parent to my guys, to give them the room to be themselves, even if it doesn’t always fit into my narrow picture.


Master Bedroom DIY

Taking some notes from Pinterest and more time than I ever wanted to spend, I’ve done some updates to our master bedroom that have my need for expensive furniture satiated (for now). I’ve almost mastered the DIY Pottery Barn black that people on the interwebs seem to love so much, and I can proudly say my hot glue gun skills are on par with a bad seamstress’.

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I found the headboard on Craigslist and rolled up my sleeves (just kidding, it’s been in the high 90s here. No sleeves these days), picked up paint from Home Depot, and snuck in layers of Killz primer while the boys took naps. When it was all said and done, no sanding required, two coats of primer, two coats of paint (Behr Black Suede in eggshell), and two coats of sealant (Minwax satin finish spray paint) was all it took to make this thing look a little more high end.

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So let me tell you about those curtain panels.

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The windows in our bedroom are something like seven feet tall. I don’t know what the actual measurement is. They’re really big. And curtains to fit whatever size they are end up being expensive. So I saw a post on Pinterest on how one lady made custom sizes for her windows using cheap panels from Walmart and fabric, and decorated with ribbon. So, because I’m not a heathen, I went to Target and bought four navy light blocking panels in the 84 inch length (each panel was $9, and I had a 20% off coupon for all four, plus my 5% off card. They ended up being around $28).  Since I can’t sew and I already had two white cafe curtains, I bought another set for $12 at Target and hot glued the white cafe curtains to the navy panels. Add some off white quatrefoil ribbon from Hobby Lobby, and bam! Four custom length curtains for $46 total.

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Our dressers were finished before 2.0 was born, but I never talked about them on the blog. And since I don’t have any of the old pictures detailing how I painted them, I can tell you it was the same method as the headboard, same paint, etc. They were a set on Craigslist for $75 we bought right after we moved into our old house. The colors on them, gold and cream, were bad enough, but they also smelled awful. Luckily Killz primer knocks the smells out. I added some new hardware and these old French provincial dressers now look a lot more chic. Well, they did, until Mini Gwinn started leaving milk stains all over them.

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One day I'll replace the nightstand, but until then...

All in all, we spent very little to create a bedroom that doesn’t resemble a college dorm room. I still see plenty of things I’d like to fix (dream flooring- herringbone hardwood!), add, etc, but for now, I’m just happy it’s coming together.

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