IMG_9840bwI’ve been an auntie for a long time. Since I was 5 years old. My siblings and I, the five of us, are spread out, so it isn’t too surprising that my first nieces and nephews were closer in age to me than my oldest brother.

I love being an aunt. It is one of the greatest jobs I’ll ever have. Ever.  I was thinking last weekend as we were hanging out with Greg’s nephews and niece about just what I love most about being an aunt. There are so many things. I could really go on and on about how rewarding it is, but I picked a few of my favorite things.

FAVORITES:

  • They listen sometimes better to me than to their parents. Key word: sometimes.  I occasionally have to put on my “mom voice” and get stern, but for the most part, it’s easy.
  • I can buy the little kids all the candy I want (and I am not the bad guy when their parents say “no more before dinner”).
  • Babysitting is more like a play date.  I get to plan something fun and something to keep them interested. I’ve found that the pet store can be both a blessing and curse for this. It’s cheap, and they love seeing the puppies. They also cry when we can’t take one home with us. Sad tears. Big, fat sad please-let-me tears. And don’t think the thought of actually bringing one home hasn’t crossed my mind. Those little lady tears are powerful.
  • I can buy them loud annoying toys for their birthdays. I will most likely regret this when my own kids have birthdays one day, but for now, it’s fun.  I tend to buy a lot of shoes for the little kids too. The older ones get money.
  • They admire me. I love knowing that they look up to me as an example. And it is something that I take very seriously.
  • I get to be their friend.  My oldest niece is 23, and she knows she can call me just to chat or hang out or whatever. When I was in high school, I would go pick her up all the time, and she was my favorite shopping buddy.  I love having a strong relationship with each of them.

I imagine more nephews and nieces in the future, mostly great nephews and great nieces, but it will be in the distant future. Maybe one of my own first.

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With Greg out of town, my life has been both empty and full. I am missing him terribly, but I have been keeping myself as busy as possible to keep my mind off of it. It is halfway working, but every time I am excited about something, I wish he was here to see his face to hear about it. And to hug me. I miss that part.

So until he gets home, life will be like this:
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1. It’s been a long few days at work. We have scheduled our next audit for January so we are full review mode.
2. Dixie girl misses her daddy too.
3. Working on blog posts in my Moleskine.
4. Chiefs vs Cowboys. It was a great game with my girls!

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I will be honest and say that a Week in the Life project by Ali Edwards scares me. I love it, for other people. For me, no. Not only do I think I would be completely boring, since my days all seem to start and end about the same during the work week (and who wants to see 20 pictures each day of what paperwork I am currently working on at my desk?), but I don’t think I could remember to capture it anyway. I tend to forget things when I am on a roll.

So a Day in the Life project is a better fit for me. Less pressure, and I can schedule it on a day when something is happening that will make it different than any other day.

Below was my Wednesday (I still need to work on remembering to take the pictures, ahhh):
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I originally saw this post on Elise Blaha Cripe’s blog, and when I found the same letter blocks at Joann’s, I knew they needed to be in our new home.

I bought four letters to place around the house. An ‘S’ to go in the kitchen. A ‘C’ for my office, and a pair ‘G’ and ‘C’ for our basement. I’ve mentioned before that I have a thing for monograms, and it turns out that I also have a thing for letterpress, so these were a great fit for our house. Greg embraces my need for letters and text everywhere, which i love about him. I mean, even our wedding shoes had text on the backs.

Anyway, these blocks weren’t made to be perfect, and since this was my very first time using wood stain, I anticipated more streaks and drips. But I was surprised to learn that it soaked in really well to whatever this cheap wood was. It definitely made it easier on me and my slight fault at wanting pretty-close-to-perfect DIY projects.IMG_8100I stained them all in Minwax Wood Finish in Special Walnut, and they turned out amazingly beautiful after two coats. I wasn’t really sure how dark I wanted them to be, but the two coat seemed to do the trick for what I was going for.

After they were done, this project cost about $13 when you take into account the coupons I used at Joann’s and the half a can of stain I have left for another project soon.IMG_8102Another to check off the 10 Projects list!

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Hi all,
change

Just a small note to give a heads up that soon, I will be changing things around this space. I am moving more toward a photography-based site, but will still have this personal space to blog about DIY projects and family and lifestyle posts. I still want to have this to come to and be myself, but it will be fronted by my photography.

I am still going to be blogging here normally until I begin to switch the look over. And I am hoping with everything in me that the switch is seamless and easy. Cross your fingers for me.

Be sure to check back if any of your RSS feed domains get screwy too.

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Alone among the shade,
he lounged protected
by hovering branches willowy
as the day was soft.

He thought of simple things,
like sunsets on dark horizons
and singing songbirds in the mornings,
smoke suckling at his pores
with every breath.

The day stretched thin
and with a heave,
he limbered upright

off to the world
of complicated
messes.

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IMG_8117+ loving the likes on my new Facebook page.
+ reading On the Road. Trying to, anyway.
+ hating spiders. And bills. Mostly bills.
+ needing more time in the day.
+ planning to scream like crazy at the Chiefs game tomorrow.
+ listening to other photographer’s experiences about opening a business. You can learn so much from someone’s advice who has been there.
+ wearing Dad’s t-shirts. I love them.
+ focusing on building this photography client base.
+ daydreaming about fabulous sunlight.
+ missing Greg. He’s out of town for work.
+ wishing it wouldn’t be so hot today for the soccer game. But we are in Kansas.
+ enjoying the way our wedding book turned out. So beautiful.
+ feeling excited to see Kristi.
+ eating a lot of pizza lately.
+ smelling peach candles. I finally bought matches because I am not good with lighters.
+ looking for red twine for Christmas projects. Is Divine Twine the best way to go?

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I first saw this on Pinterest. No surprise there, since half of the cute ideas I attempt come from there. How did we ever get all these home decor inspirations before Pinterest came along? I guess our houses were slightly bland and almost definitely not full of DIY projects.IMG_7834I have always liked alphabet magnets. They can be used to spell out little messages and teach kiddos their letters. They’re just cute. But too colorful for our taste. The gold, now that is a good match for our kitchen. Normally we are not gold people (especially jewelry-wise) but this works, especially since our refrigerator will most likely be black. We haven’t gotten that far yet.IMG_7850Anyway, I used gold Krylon Colormaster spray paint and simple colored alphabet magnets that I picked up for $1 per pack. This entire project cost about $6, and most of the time spent on it was waiting for the paint to dry. It feels like forever, but I am guessing about 10 minutes between the two coats. I didn’t prime them. I just went for it, and a few peeled if they got too much paint and stuck to the cardboard. But I just spray painted them again, and it didn’t seem to matter much.IMG_7853Small projects like this excite me. Easy, cheap, and so much character. They aren’t perfect or uniform. Some have paint runs down the sides, and some are more gold than others (some look copper-y). But they have some zing. My favorites. I imagine that there are going to be several small projects going on to make our house a home.

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