Sunday, November 18, 2012

A "big boy" room...

Ever since we moved into our new home we have kind of been in a transition phase.  At first, we knew we were pregnant but no one else did so we couldn't talk about our plans for each room.  Then we felt like we were waiting to find out the sex of our newest addition before we could make any real plans for a nursery.  I felt like as the time went on my list of desires for the house got longer but my motivation got smaller.  When you can't lift your head off the pillow with out barfing it makes it hard really get inspired and get your rear in gear.  I finally prioritized my "wants" and asked for help.  First order of business is Aiden's big boy room.  I enlisted my oldest and dearest friend Josh for some of his help because let's face it...the man can do it all.  Although by profession, he is an architect, I've yet to find something he can't do.  My request was simple...I want a fun "big boy" room for Aiden that isn't "theme-y" or too juvenile.  Something that he will love now and love in 4 years from now.  (Side note: Aiden wanted a toy story room, then a fish room, then a batman room...definitely why theme's just don't work for us).  As usual, I gave Josh most of the control and he delivered!  Here are the plans for Aiden's BIG BOY room...

It's Josh said, he made it young and playful yet sophisticated at the same time.  Now, although I gave Josh complete creative control let's be realistic, I am a control freak!  So...I did haggle back and forth with him over a few things and for some I won and others...I lost.  The thing about Josh is that he knows me all too well!  He simply told me to get over my fears of drastic design and just go for it!  So while this is our plan/inspiration board, not every one of these things will be in the room.

For our first 4 months in our home, Aiden's new room was our toy room.  The room with the infamous chalkboard wall.  It is kind of funny because since our home was a homarama show house, most of my neighbors have already been inside my house and the 2 comments I always get are #1 I love your kitchen and #2 How awesome is that chalkboard wall?  Well folks, here is the dirty truth.  The chalkboard wall is not all that it is cracked up to be.  It is messy, it doesn't erase properly,  Aiden wasn't really into it for more than a few minutes, and it is impossible to clean.  Here is the proof

This is what it looks like prior to being erased

My attempt at erasing the scribble...basically smeared it!
I know it really doesn't matter since it is a kids room, but I just couldn't live with the streaks and smears so bye bye chalkboard wall!!!  Unfortunately it took a whole container of baby wipes, several attempts with a sponge and multiple trips to clean out the water to get the chalkboard wall clean enough.  Obviously I wasn't on a ladder cleaning it, so THANK YOU to Nana who helped me get the high areas!  (she would kill me if I posted a picture of her on the ladder)
Still has stains on it...nothing a little primer can't fix!
Almost everything for the room is either here or on it's way.  I have been bargain shopping like a mad woman!  Between sale watching, coupon codes, and Ebates, I am pretty pleased with my financial output for this room.  (please tell me you use ebates)  I really don't want to spend a ton on furniture because let's face it...if he doesn't get sick of it, I probably will!
I am hoping for the room to be finished in early December and then we will move on to the nursery!  In the meantime, here is my baby napping in his big boy bed!  Stay tuned for the big reveal....

***A quick side story...When Aiden's bedding came in he said "hmmm, I guess that store didn't have toy story?"  Guess not!!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Veterans Day

I certainly hope today was a Thankful Veteran's Day for the people of this great nation!  I hope that through my blog I make it clear often just how grateful I am to those who have served and continue to serve our great country!  I say that not just because my husband is one of them, or because most of my friends spouses serve, or that my brother served, or my grandfather served but because I am pretty confident that I (and we) have it "made in the shade here" the grand old USA!!!  I fear the thought of a place where men and women no longer proudly and honorably choose to serve our country, yet are forced to do so unwillingly.  Whenever I get the comment "you knew what you were getting into", I immediately think of how much more selfish this country would be if people did not serve because "they knew what they were getting into".  Simply put...somebody has to do it and if someone doesn't chose to do it, then what????  So with that....THANK YOU to all who have and still do serve!  Me and my family sleep safe at night because you have chosen to stand the watch and sacrifice it all protecting this great nation!
(Thanks babe)

Thanks for the pic Tom

Thanks for the pic Andy

On a more personal level, I would be completely remiss if I did not say a huge Thank You to my fellow military spouses.  It is often a thankless job that no one can really understand except us.  When our spouses leave, everyone else's life goes on.  Ours, on the other hand, hangs in the breeze waiting for the littlest bit of communication!  Counting down the months, weeks, and days before we can hug our guy again!  People often only think of goodbyes and homecomings but rarely think of the months in between.  While pier side kisses and tears of excitement make for great pictures, the real story is how we handle the months with out our other half!  What they miss, what we miss, and more importantly what our children miss!

This past weekend I attended the baby shower of a wonderful Navy wife friend.  It is always such a great time to sit and "talk the talk" with people who really get it.  It is often a great reminder that although our husbands may be in and out, working long hours, or gone for the next 8-10 months we each get our chance to hold each other up or be the one being held!  While they serve abroad, we are serving at home (sometimes not as gracefully as we hope)!  Not an easy thing for others to understand but I am so thankful to be surrounded by so many who do!  Our "gripes" are a little different than most women but it is such a gift to have you ladies to "gripe" with!  I have met some of my best girlfriends through the secret sisterhood of being a Navy Wife and I find great pride in the friendships that we have built and the things I have learned from you ladies!
Some of our friends along the way...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Why blog?? and a note from Aiden

You would never guess how many times I start a blog and then hit the delete button.  It's pretty crazy!  I often ask myself  'why blog"?  Most of the time I blog for me, for my own memories.  To keep track of the little things that I know my mind won't hold onto forever.  Sometimes I blog to share a fun recipe or project but those blogs aren't nearly as often as my "Aiden" blogs.  I try to keep my blogs about things that are fun and exciting.  Trust me, my life isn't perfect and everyday isn't a walk in the park but I would rather focus on the good and only blog the "not so good" as a reminder of how fortunate I am and also to keep "what's important" into perspective.  I know I am not changing the world or inspiring others in any way but I want to do what ever I can to document our life.  I want to remember any little thing that I possible can.  But sometimes I wonder if it is a valuable use of my time (usually the time I should be sleeping)  I know that some of the grandparents really enjoy the blog and some of our distant friends like to know what's up with us but otherwise I am just keeping a journal for my own selfish needs!  This morning I received the sweetest email from our best buddy Tom who has been deployed for 9 months and will HOPEFULLY be home soon.  He said  " I can't wait to see the new place, I love the pics that you have posted!  I am glad that you blog, it makes me smile!  It is always great hearing about the Gundersons."  Well Tom, not only did your email make my day but your sweet words and "validation" reminded me why I blog!  
Here's a little something to make you smile!  Leif has been in and out a lot...but this last time has been really hard on Aiden.  I will write more about that later but we have started a routine where every night we "send" daddy a note.  I let Aiden do all of the talking and I send Daddy his message word for word.  His words are always sweet, he usually says "I love you and good luck" (why good luck?  no clue) but tonight was just too cute.  Here is Aiden's letter to Daddy and the picture he chose to accompany it!
"Nighty night daddy! I love you! Where is daddy? On the ship!  Do me a favor, jump in the water and look for lobsters .  Where do you go on the ship?  I had a great day at school today! I love you bigger bigger! Love, aiden"

He has money in his hand...don't ask me why!
Stay tuned for a fun blog on Aiden's big boy room progress!!!!