Courage and Composure

How on Earth do any of us begin to consider the atrocity that Friday morning brought to Newtown, Connecticut? How do we consider that the grim circumstances are a situation that has been repeated in schools multiple times over the last decade? How do we consider that this time many of the victims should be of an age of innocence and unaware that this type of event happens, much less be the angels who were caught in the cross fire of these same circumstances? How do we possibly consider why this violence happens? How has this type of behavior repeated itself so often, and how do we possibly begin to combat it as a nation and as a society? We must begin to alter our culture from its current violent course, however difficult that might be. I don't know the answer to these questions, of course, but I have to trust that those in positions of power in our country will raise tough questions and demand answers. Questions possibly about the presence of weapons, as I've heard some suggest, or questions about monitoring and assisting those with mental health concerns. Questions about the presence of violence in our media, and at what age is this appropriate. Questions that are yet to be determined.

Tomorrow morning students who are the same age as those who were murdered will enter the doors of my school, and it's very likely that many of them will be aware of what's happened and be afraid. It's very likely that teachers and students across the nation will be uneasy for quite some time. The unfortunate reality is that this situation may very likely repeat itself again. So how do we as parents and teachers reassure ourselves, our children, and our students that we are doing everything in our power to keep them safe? The process of establishing lockdown and safety procedures was begun quite some time ago, and I know that this work will continue with renewed attention and energy. It must...

So as I continue through my time as a teacher, the most important thing I can do is pray. Pray for those who are grieving at this moment. Pray for protection for my school and my students, and for protection for my son when he enters school. Pray for peace and wisdom as I inevitably will need to address the concerns of my students tomorrow morning. Pray for courage and composure in case I am ever in the position that the teachers in Newtown were in. And if I do someday sacrifice myself for the safety of my students, I pray for strength and peace for my family. How grateful I am to know a faith that is real and a Savior that is in control, even in the midst of chaos and uncertainty.


The Adventures of Zip, Part 1

There's an elf in our house, and oh my gosh is he mischievous!!! I'm sure you can't possibly imagine who is behind all these little schenanigans (or all but the first). "Zip" arrived last Sunday morning and has been keeping tabs on Josiah for Santa. Can you guess what the first thing we do each morning is? Or at 3:00am when someone comes stumbling into our bedroom asking, "Did Zip come back from the North Pole yet?"

He ate the remaining Halloween candy, but not the gum balls in the cupboard!

On Wednesday at Josiah's daycare birthday party he got a mini beach ball from Miles (who he shares a birthday with). On the car ride home he told me he was worried about Zip popping it, and that we better hide it. He also told me we better not even tell Zip about the beach ball so he didn't know to look. Well, apparently Jim didn't get the memo, because when they said good night to Zip Jim told him to not pop the beach ball. Josiah immediately scolded, "Dad! You weren't supposed to tell him! Now he's gonna get it!!!" And he did! Luckily, though, he just swiped it and sat up on the curtain rod, and when Josiah was at daycare threw it back down. 

I wonder where he'll show up tomorrow morning?

Merry Christmas to Me!!!

I usually don't post about "getting stuff," but this week two things have arrived that I've been awaiting for a VERY long time and I'm just so unbelievably excited!!!

#1 --- My very own sewing machine!!! I have been secretly wanting my own machine for years...every so often I borrow my mom's to do some little project or mend something, and I've been very jealous of all the sewing my sister has done since staying home with her daughter. This fall I spontaneously began a sewing a quilt for Josiah thanks to the help of my wonderful friend and colleague Lori and her machine, and I decided it was time! Here it is!!!

Now...what should I sew first??? A book holder for the van, the minky baby blanket with my leftover quilt fabric, gifts for all my expectant friends, pillows for Josiah, floor pillows for my classroom...Pinterest here I come!!!

#2 --- Ever since I got my MacBook Pro (best computer EVER, if any of you are wondering) last winter I have been eyeing the computer bags from Ju Ju Be. For those of you who know me well you know that I have obsessions with bags in general, but especially with my Ju Ju Be diaper bag (ok, true confession...bags). Even though I love how grown up Josiah is, I secretly miss it...but it's a little ridiculous to carry a diaper bag along for a four year old little boy. Well, when I was searching for the perfect bag to haul my MacBook around in, which I just had to find, I discovered that Ju Ju Be made laptop bags. Oh happy day!!! Shortly after I discovered this, they appeared on the Steal Network (www.babysteals.com) but in the wrong pattern. I have been waiting for 11 months, but they finally reappeared on Monday. Look what was waiting for me when I arrived home after one busy week! I CANNOT wait to carry Ju Ju Be with me every day! Yessssssssssssssss! They really are that great!!!!!

So who wants to start a monthly crafty moms club!? I would love to open my house up for a Friday night / Saturday in January for anyone who would like to come over and sew, scrapbook, be crafty, digital scrapbook...kids could play in the living room and moms can set up wherever. I love to both spend time with friends and work on projects, but unfortunately I'm so stinking task oriented (and totally Type A) that unless I schedule it in I neglect both. Let me know if you'd like to join me and we'll figure out a weekend!!!


Ah bliss...

I must say there is no better way to end my day! Sitting on the couch after my sweet is asleep in my pjs with Friends reruns on in the background, getting to just sit. Sit...what's that? No interruptions, mixing productivity with pleasure trips to Pinterest...and just sitting. Have I mentioned that I'm sitting? The only thing missing is either a glass of wine or a cup of decaf coffee. Decaf is really what I want, but that's probably not a great idea at 11:40 when I really should be turning off the tv and getting into bed...oh, but it's just so hard to get off the couch when I'm sitting for the first time all day...


Oh, my sweet...

So the second round of trying to have a baby has not been easy and successful as the first time, and I am so sad that Josiah is almost 4 and without a sibling. Especially since he has been asking for a baby for almost a year. Here was our conversation tonight...heartbreaking on one hand, but a little comical on the other. Smiling through tears over this one...

Josiah: "Mom, after this day (his words for today) can we get a baby?"
Me: "No, we can't get a baby tomorrow."
Josiah: "Aw, why not?"
Me: "Because babies need to grow in mommies' tummies."
Josiah: "Is there a baby in your tummy?"
Me: "No, not right now."
Josiah: "How do babies get in your tummy?"
Me: "God puts them there. Should we pray tonight and ask God to put a baby in mommy's tummy?"
Josiah: "I want two babies! A brother and a sister! Can we ask God for that, Mom?"
Me: "Sure, we can ask God for that."
Josiah: "Ok, don't forget Mom!"

(Oh, and I forgot to mention that this conversation happened while he was doing his thing in the bathroom, and at this point I walked into the office to give him some privacy...)

Suddenly I hear..."God!" "God!!" "God!!!!" "Mom, I can't hear God talking to me!"

Which of course let to a conversation about how God can always hear us, even if we can't hear God speaking. His response to this was..."Mom, can we drive to heaven then?"

Only from the mouthes of babes...


Girl's Weekend!

So after a disastrous week and a half of Jim being gone, I managed to make it through the rest of the week and have had a glorious weekend so far! My friend Lori hosted a craft weekend, so I spent my Friday night was spent catching up with friends and attempting to start my first blurb book. Lori was working on quilts for her new baby, and I am SO inspired to start a quilt for Josiah. I have wanted to learn to quilt since 4-H in high school, and since he moved into his big boy bed I've wanted to start one. After feeling the softest minky ever and looking at her super easy pattern, I think I might be ready to take the plunge! Now I just need to find the perfect fabric...

On to today...caught up with my next door neighbor Jess, who I lived by for probably 13 years and now haven't seen in 13 years. So fun to see her!!!! Then I wandered through the Junk Market, Scheels, and the mall for a few hours. Ahhh, the joy of shopping alone...I managed to find not 1, not 2, but 3 pairs of shoes! Two of them are replacing pairs that I've worn regularly for the past 5+ years, so I don't feel bad about those...the sandals may have been a bit of a splurge though. Tonight we met up with our friends Andy and Becca and their two adorable children for a spontaneous trip to the playground at Longfellow and Happy Joes for dinner. Fall weather is just so gorgeous!!!

All fun and no school for the first weekend since I went back to work. I remember now why it's so important to balance life with fun...I could work forever on schoolwork and organizing stuff and always feel behind and overwhelmed. Taking some time for myself needs to go back on my list of important things to do!!!


In Stitches

Tuesday evening started off like any other. Jim had been working in Perham for the last week, and after a week of flying solo we needed to burn some steam. Josiah grabbed his bike, I grabbed Cooper, and we headed out for a walk/bike ride with the neighbors. Fresh air and getting to move did wonders for all of us. After a late supper we started getting ourselves ready to snuggle in bed and wind down. Being totally exhausted from having Jim working out of town for the last week and a half and following my usual routine of getting myself to bed around midnight, I decided when I got Josiah ready for bed around 8:30 that I would also hit the sack. 

I should have known what was coming. While I got myself ready for bed he bounced around my room dancing like a maniac to Elmo's ABC songs. Just as I was finishing up came the dreaded "crack," immediately followed by the telltale wail. I turned to see him picking himself up off Cooper's dog bed (next to the rail of our bed), and as I got there (a whole 10 feet away) a nice thick trail of blood ran right down his cheek. Oh lovely! We quickly headed for the bathroom, cleaned the blood, and discovered a nice 1/2" long cut above his eye. Yessss! Jim's current trip had already yielded 3 bloody noses (ask me about that one someday), and now I was pretty sure that list was going to include stitches as well. After confirming with my personal nurse (LOVE having a good friend across the street in the medical world), I threw on enough clothes to hide my pjs, chucked the ipad in my purse (aka: the greatest distraction ever invented), and headed out the door. I was not excited about this trip, and Jim of course wasn't answering his phone. First emergency room trip as a parent and I was totally running solo. Yesss, again! We checked in and sat down to wait with the other 20+ people. Fortunately we found ourselves seated next to a family with a 4-yr old boy, and Josiah quickly found a friend (thank you, Lord, for that distraction!). 

Jim called a few minutes later to tell me he had just finished working for the day (13+ hours), and since he'd worked late he was....SUPRISE! on his way home now instead of coming Wednesday. I'm pretty sure that at that moment I felt the clouds part and heaven shining down around me. Thank you Lord for arranging that, and thank you Jim for working so hard! Finally at 10:15 we were admitted into the ER, and one of the nurses applied an antiseptic to the cut to numb it and help stop the bleeding. Then we began our second phase of waiting. Here he is with the glop on his face...he looks SO old in this picture!

We counted everything in the room that we could and chatted about the million questions Josiah had about all the equipment and people around. He was so brave, even though he was clearly nervous. He even asked the physician how many stitches he was going to have. We passed away the time chatting and playing a few games on my phone, and Jim finally arrived with minutes to spare. Josiah wasn't bothered by the cloth the doctor draped over his face to shield his view, but when the first stitch went in the change was instant. We went from totally calm and relaxed to crying hysterically, even though he still managed to keep himself pretty still. Thank goodness Jim was there so that there were two of us to comfort and distract. We ended up with just 3 stitches. It was a clean, straight cut, and the doctor worked quickly. Here's the latest battle scar:

5 minutes later he was up and holding onto dad's neck to relax (Mom always gets trumped after Dad's been gone awhile). Another 5 minutes and a little of Jim's humor and he was smiling away. 

One of the nurses came to tell him that an ambulance was there, and she offered to let him go see it. He jumped on that opportunity and off they went! He came back with an even bigger grin and an adorable teddy bear wearing a yellow rain coat and hat. Apparently the ambulances get all the good toys. :) Here he is!!!

We finally made it home at 12:30, totally exhausted, but also a little giddy since we had Jim back. After getting unloaded and having a snack we all made it to bed shortly after 1:00. Wish I could have slept in with my boys...6:15 came fast this morning!!!


Lake Belle Taine, August 2012

Oh, how we love the lake! Three years ago when our beloved Sunset Lodge on Potato Lake was sold to developers we weren't quite sure how'd we'd ever replace it, but my parents have definitely found us a new sweet spot. The greatest thing about them having a cabin is definitely being able to visit throughout the year, and not just one week each summer. I know we all feel instantly relaxed when we arrive, walk through to the porch, and savor that first deep breath as we take in the lake.

Last week was no exception to this. The weather was cooler, so we didn't live in the lake like we did over the 4th of July. Instead, we spent a lot of time at the golf course, fishing, or playing games. Since my entire family was there, we had non-stop entertainment from Josiah, Zoe, and Claire. It's so much fun to see how the three of them already love to be around one another, even though they're so young.

Highlights of the week for our family:

  • having my whole family there, and especially getting to love on our nieces Zoe & Claire
  • family range session at Headwaters (yes, I golfed too!)
  • using our new goggles to dive for golf balls in the middle of the lake (ok, so I floated out on my floatie while Jim dove, but someone had to supervise Josiah out there!)
  • breakfast at the Great Northern with just the mommies and kidlets while the daddies golfed
  • having my grandparents and aunt and uncle from Burnsville join us for a few days
  • multiple coffees at Bella Cafe
  • celebrating Zoe's 2nd birthday
  • flea market excursion, which produced a bag of marbles, Ziggy the Zebra beanie baby, & 3 painted rocks (2 penguins and 1 turtle)
  • Josiah outfishing Jim 24 to 4 off the dock
Favorite quotes from Josiah:
  • (As we're devouring breakfast at the Great Northern) "Mom, when you swallow your food does God get squished?" (We've been visiting a lot about how God lives inside us lately.)
  • "When I grow up I'm going to be a police officer so I can help chase the mean guys. Yeah, and then I can get a sword, and poke 'em in the butt!" (Jim started calling people who do bad things "mean guys.")
Favorite pictures! Enjoy!!!

In front of our favorite breakfast place...if you haven't been there you NEED to go. Order the french toast!!! 

All 3 kids love books...what a surprise with 2 librarians and an elementary teacher in the fam!

Getting ready to spot for my brother as he attempts water skiing for the first time in several years. Got up on the first try too!

Eating Uncle Gary's stir fry on the porch. My two adorable boys!!!

Who needs to swim when you can fish!?

Surprisingly, we haven't eaten at Compeneros in Dorset yet this year, but we did stop for ice cream and a quick picture on the infamous burro on our way back home.

My favorite way to enjoy the lake! Best floatie ever!!!

What a stud!



The last thing I want to admit is that summer break is flying by and the beginning of another school year is rapidly approaching. Where, oh where, did the time go?! We have less than 3 weeks to go, and I'm determined to spend as much quality time with Josiah as I can. Today's activity = terrariums!!! Here's a peek...

Our supplies...

...start with big rocks on the bottom...

...then fill with cactus soil...

...add plants...

...and the rocks Mom and Dad handpicked on their honeymoon...

...and voila! Josiah's terrarium!

We can enjoy this together for many years to come (or until a ball knocks it off the shelf)!!!

Pinterest: Blogs & Blurbs

Oh, how I love Pinterest. It's saved my life...just kidding! Well, actually it has returned my enthusiasm for constantly finding new teaching ideas, solved many organizing dilemmas, introduced me to the world of blogging, provided many yummy recipes, and sparked many brilliant ideas. I refuse to feel guilty for spending a few minutes each day pinning when it's been such a great resource and SO much fun. It's also what prompted me to begin blogging and hatched my blurb plan.

Let me explain... I didn't really begin reading blogs until around Christmas of last year, and it didn't take me long to decide that I wanted in on the fun. Two blogs later, I'm hooked! Then a few weeks ago I pinned an idea for making family yearbooks through Blurb. At first I dismissed the idea since I've always used Shutterfly, but the more I considered it the more it makes sense. My former brilliant idea had been to just create Shutterfly books for all my kids individually, but making a family yearbook (and then ordering copies for everyone to take with them when they grow up, maybe...someday down the road) just makes so much more sense. The deciding factor, though, was the realization that I could incorporate blog posts into this book. Holy cow! Talk about making two hobbies suddenly go from being exclusive to working hand in hand. Totally resonates with my resolution to simply my life this year and "work smarter, not harder."

I am definitely not a fabulous blogger, yet, but I've found that I do really enjoy it. It has the same therapeutic quality as journaling, even though your thoughts are being broadcast to the world. Still, I have neglected to write many times when I should have because I've felt guilty investing the time. Now, however, as I'm narrating the day-to-day I can use it to string each year together. Woohoo!!! I am just so excited to begin working, and I may even work my way backwards all the back back to our wedding. After all, if a scrapbook I began 9 years hasn't been finished yet, it probably won't ever be (yes, our wedding album...how embarrassing). Josiah's baby book and the journaling I attempted can be included, the unfinished Christmas scrapbooks can be included...so many fragmented projects can all be incorporated and finally finished! And the best part...new purpose for my blog!!! I will probably still post about some of the projects I'm working on, because that makes me excited too, but the main purpose will be to tell the story of our family. Which means...when I make each blurb book most of the journaling will be done already! If you've read my earlier posts, you already know that I'm great at starting and not finishing, and if you have ever scrapbooked you know that journaling is the final step. How awesome to not have to try to remember and detail events from months ago!

So...I know have to wrap up this post so that I can begin another which will, of course, go in our blurb book for 2012!!!!


Favorite Summer Pictures (so far)!!!

I would love nothing more than to sit down and do these pictures justice by creating separate posts and narrating each event, but...alas...it's 12:38 am. This is normally not a cause of alarm, however I've just realized that there are only 3 weeks remaining until school begins. Considering that I haven't gotten out of bed before 8:00 all summer presents a problem. So for now, here are just a few of our favorites. I'll tell the stories later!!!


A Sleepover...3 Year Old Style

Oh how I love watching my sweetheart grow and experience things I remember from childhood. Last night we had an impromptu sleepover with our neighbor, and they lived it up big time. Full bath with lots of splashing and a squirter (the ceiling was a little wet), wearing their matching pajamas, and squishing side by side on the bed with Jim to read Oh the Places you Go (Dr. Seuss is Jim and Josiah's favorite, besides Waldo)...then wrapping up the evening by giggling and whispering instead of going right to sleep. Listening to them from the next room made my heart smile. :)

So I am also, admittedly, on a mission to be one of Josiah's friends' favorite moms and known for cooking all things yummy, and I stayed up late to bake a special breakfast just for the boys. We have 5 lbs of "to die for" blueberries, and I found a super scrumptious recipe on Pinterest. Here it is! http://www.alexandracooks.com/2011/06/29/buttermilk-blueberry-breakfast-cake/ I stayed up until after 1:00 waiting for that puppy to finish baking! Not only that, but trying to double a new recipe that late at night usually takes me twice as long because I'm paranoid about doing everything correctly and doubling ALL the ingredients. AND this one required butter and eggs at room temperature, which I managed to NOT realize at the same time. Oops! Anyway, after staying up extra late neither of them ate more than two bites...turkeys!!! Oh well, more for me, right?

The sweetest part of the sleepover was this morning, when both kiddos came and snuggled with me in bed. How much longer until Josiah grows out of his snuggling phase? I'm afraid it can't be too much longer since he's already three and a half, so I'm going to cherish every minute until it's gone. Anyway...we spent the remainder of the morning playing T-ball in the backyard, retrieving golf balls out of the pool (using the golf ball retriever since it's a whole foot deep), jumping off a toy tote into the pool over and over...here's a few action shots!!!



If there was an award for starting the most projects I'd win hands down! If there was an award for not finishing the most projects, I'd win that too. I am notorious for having great ideas and starting them, but I am not a great finisher. Jim's classic example of this is the stack of books with bookmarks (all usually less than 1 cm worth of pages away from the front cover) sitting on the top of the shelf next to my bed. I also have at least 5 unfinished scrapbooks (at one point in my life I did actually work on these), and organizing projects either begun or hatching in my brain in every room in our house. AUGH! No wonder I make myself stressed and frustrated, and no wonder I always feel like I haven't accomplished anything at the end of the day when I haven't even sat down. Can anyone else relate?

My mission for the summer is to simply finish. Finish a book before I start another, go through the stacks of paper I've piled in the office and kitchen to file "later," finish the hosta bed in the back, finish staining the fence...you get the picture. I know that I will never be able to finish all the things I've started or begin to tackle all the other things I'm itching to start, but I have actually managed to finish a few things things I set out to do! If you read a few weeks ago, I DID finish cleaning out ALL my kitchen cupboards and install a shelving system in our garage. Woohoo!!! Current projects to finish: cleaning out clothes, filing and wrapping up paperwork in more places than I can count, clean out the bathroom cupboards, deadhead and prune in the yard, and finish reading Inheritance. Think I can do all that in a week and a half? Wish me luck!!!


Lovely day!

Top 10 things that made today fabulous, even though I overslept this morning!
  • Started my day with a mocha from Caribou
  • Got to "work" today with 3 amazing teachers from WF. While working on our district curriculum for next year we shared a plethora of inspiring ideas and resources!!! Found some GREAT third grade blogs for inspiration / Pinspiration!!!
  • A colleague shared an idea that will solve my classroom organization woes...1 small bookshelf for each student table, complete with book boxes, text books, math toolkits, and kleenex!
  • Had a blast with Josiah at my school today while he "helped" me move things from my old room to my new room. He did make lots of messes, but for the first time he picked up each mess prior to making a new one without complaint! Ahhh...and he was in a great mood to top it off!!!
  • Ate on the patio at the golf course with my two favorite boys. Had a delicious wrap and fries (so unhealthy, but so good!)
  • Jim and Josiah made chocolate cookies...being a spectator for that was SO much fun.
  • Eating homemade chocolate chip cookies.
  • Two Pinterest projects --- extra special payment gift for Josiah's babysitter this week and snazzy thank you notes printed off to have on hand.
  • My laundry is done and the house it quiet.
  • Look what came today!!! I cannot wait to learn how to use this thing and combine my two favorite things...making things on my computer with cute fonts and being crafty! Hmmm...what to make first...labels for the pantry that I just reorganized or lettering for my classroom...

Ok...enough playing on my computer...it's 12:53...if I'm not mistaken one of my New Years Resolutions was to be in bed earlier so that I could read, rest, and be up earlier. Guess I'm not meeting that one this week...


I heart summer break!

So I survived a few days without Josiah...ok, I LOVED a few days without Josiah. He is totally my favorite little man and I love his energy, enthusiasm, and non-stop inquisitive mind, but having a few days to myself allowed me to do some of the things that just aren't possible when he's here. Jim and I went for dinner on the patio at Ushers without having to get a sitter, think about how he was doing, or rush home. It was so wonderful to have a date! I was able to run errands TWICE! Again, without rushing or consideration for any kind of schedule. I can't remember the last time I did that! Finally, I cleaned out and organized our kitchen cupboards and the garage. Woot woot!!! I'm pretty sure that neither of those have been accomplished since Josiah was born, and having two of the spaces in our house that are used most often and store the most "treasure" back into a temporary state of order makes life just seem to function again. Oh, and did I mention that I got to blare my Friends reruns, stay up way too late, and then sleep in since no one came crawling into my bed in the wee hours of the morning? 

We have so many fun things coming up in the next few weeks too that I can hardly stand it! 3 different trips in 3 weeks time!!! We get to spend a weekend + a week at the lake and head to the cities for at least a week too. After visiting the MN Zoo, several parks in the cities (including the one formerly known as Chutes & Ladders), seeing cousins & grandparents, and spending so much time at the lake Josiah is going to think Fargo is awfully boring. Hopefully he'll be ready for some down time at home. After so much excitement (and packing and unpacking) I'm going to be ready to just settle in and enjoy my too few weeks at home. Oh how I love warm weather, all day with Josiah, and getting to do things that the school year doesn't permit! 



Kidless - What's a mom to do?

I am sailing through uncharted water in my world. For the first time since December 5, 2008, I am home alone without my son for the next 3 days. Yikes! Over the past year Josiah has slept over with his buddy R across the street probably 2-3x when we've taken turns going on dates, but that's been the extent of our separation. Alright, yes...we are probably WAY overdue for this, but without grandparents or other family nearby we've never had the option. My parents graciously offered to take Josiah to the lake for a few days, and OMG was he excited!!! Watching the sparkle in his eyes as he ran around collecting his whiffle balls, butterfly net, baseball glove, golf club, bike...was so much fun. And I only cried for less than 5 minutes after I got him in his carseat in my mom's car (yes, I'm clearly inexperienced in being home alone)!

So, what am I doing all by myself? Well, since Jim was already sleeping by the time Josiah left, I did the only logical thing a mom can do...start cleaning out our kitchen cupboards! I'm pretty sure that some of them haven't been cleaned since we moved in 6 years ago, and even those that have been cleaned more recently have become a gigantic cluttered mess over the last 3 1/2 years. Now, those of you who know me well are probably thinking...Laura is one of the most organized people I know (or so it may seem), so her cupboards can't possibly be that bad. Well, they were! I cannot believe some of the things that I've put up with (like about 200 random lids in our tupperware collection). The kitchen has been on my list for at least a year, but I knew it would require a great deal of time and deliberate planning to actually get everything situated how it needs to be. Now that I've discovered Pinterest and an AMAZING blog devoted to organizing totally my style I've been dying to get our little abode whipped back into shape. If you haven't already been here, check out... http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/ I'm pretty sure Jen and I would be great friends if we lived closer together!

So far I've gone through all our dishes and created a "kid zone" cupboard, downsized our tupperware from two gigantic drawers to half of one, and emptied everything out of the pantry to our kitchen table. Here are a few pix of what's done!

Previously a baking cupboard...
What I hated: everything was hard to pull out, the vitamins were taking over the bottom shelf, there were cds, scissors, and candy shoved in random places, and it just looks like a jumble of randomness.

Now, it's our cupboard for all things kid-related! (Inspiration from blog sited above) What I love: everything for Josiah is in one place and not mixed in with adult dishes, Josiah's vitamins and medications are corralled in one container, and the two cups I found at Target for his utensils are super cute!

Forgot to take before shots, but all my baking gear needed to find a new home in another cupboard, and since I don't typically grab those items on a daily basis I decided to move all our dishes to the bottom two shelves in these two side-by-side cupboards and store mixing bowls above. What I love: now that I adjusted the shelf heights all our tall coffee mugs can stand up and not lay on their side (what a concept!), I can reach the cereal bowls without Jim or standing on a stool, and there is no longer coffee or snacks for Josiah mixed in with dishes!

Tomorrow will be my first full day on my own, and I can't wait to finish! I will be on a mission to pick up a few more organizers for our kitchen utensils and pantry, clean out the spice cupboard, and replace all the empty yogurt containers in my tupperware drawer with quality BPA-free plastic and glass containers. Woot woot!

Disclaimer - yes, cleaning out and organizing makes me more excited than the average person, and doing it at 2:00 am only intensifies that. But since I don't have anyone waking me up in the morning for the first time since Josiah was born, I can stay up as late as I want and be able to recover!!! See y'all tomorrow for phase 2!