Major Updates

Last time I took such a long break from the blog Mike was living in Chicago and I honestly didn’t have much going on.  These last couple months of absence are because we have TOO much happening, I can barely keep up in real life, let alone on the blog!

First, little Arch-man is keeping us very busy!  He’s standing and cruising between any thing he can hold onto.  He’s also right in the middle of a little mommy moment.  He’s got a little separation anxiety, and while I can leave him at the sitter’s every day with no problem, if I’m near, he needs to check in with a hug or slobbery kiss every so often.  It’s super cute, but doesn’t allow me to get much done!

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The major update is we bought a house! 

We’ve been casually looking for a couple years for land to build on in the future, but our search was beginning to get frustrating with the lack of properties available.  Mike was looking for specific wants on the land: mostly treed – didn’t want to mow much, a water feature like a stream would be nice, and no HOA, and I was looking for proximity to our workplaces and school districts.  You wouldn’t think it would be that difficult, but every time we found something in our budget there would be a large riparian set-back (building limits based on water sources) or something else prohibiting us from building.  With Archer becoming mobile and all the accumulation of his stuff, we realized how much our little house wasn’t really working for us anymore.  

Mike and I both discussed increasing our budget to include the house building and land procurement and began searching for homes with acreage.  Once we did this, it became clear we were full-on house hunting.  The market is still a seller’s market, at least here, and some homes were being sold before we could even schedule a showing!  We spent a couple months like this before we found a house we were willing to put an offer in on.  We ended up not even getting a chance because they accepted an offer (hours after we looked at it), but we realized we were ready to buy!  The next house I found was a beyond our budget but I asked to look at it anyways because it had sat on the market for several months and wasn’t updated so I figured if we liked it we could lowball and just see what happened.  After some negotiations we came to a price closer to our budget and we signed our lives away on the dotted line!

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The house was built in 1973 and is pretty ugly and ‘builder basic’, but it comes with over 3.5 acres, a shed, and a two-story barn, all within a top rated school district!  I can work with ugly any day for all that!  It really is the perfect combination for Mike and I, and with 4 bedrooms and space to grow, it’s perfect for our family too.  

Which is important because during the negotiations we found out I’m pregnant!

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That’s right we’re going to have 2 under 2!  I thought I was tired and feeling icky from running after Archer and not wanting to eat very healthy, turns out is was just the first trimester!  When I saw the doctor for the first time a couple days after the at-home test, the ultrasound determined I was about 10 weeks along!

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Archer has no clue what he’s in for (ha!) but he loves babies right now and we think he’ll make a great older brother.  I may go completely gray when the boys are old enough to get into all the shenanigans Mike has planned, but I’m loving the boy life so far and can’t wait for another little guy! 

Look for some more detailed house posts coming soon.  Last night was our first overnight and while we’re living mostly out of boxes we’re excited for this next adventure. 

Rethinking Paper Cards & Invites

I love sending and receiving mail.  It’s so old school, but I get excited seeing something other than an internet promo with my name on it in my mailbox.  I think it’s the personalization and feeling that someone spent time to send me something.

But, recently, and especially since Archer’s arrived, I find it difficult to remember to get a card while I’m out (because you know I can’t make a special trip as easily as I used to), then to get it in the mail in time.  That’s why when Paperless Post reached out and asked if I would review their online cards and invitations, I jumped at the chance.  Personalization without the hassle of going to the store, sign me up!

As soon as I visited the site, I knew what and who I wanted to send an online card to, my dad for Father’s Day!  My dad’s a semi-retired IT guy so I knew this would be right up his alley, and since they live in a gated community in Florida where all the mail is delivered to boxes near the club house instead of their doors, it takes extra time for travel time.  Not to mention that’s if they check their mailbox that day.  For example, I sent a Mother’s Day card to my mom back in May the Thursday before, and she didn’t get it for an entire week!

It was difficult finding a card at first, because they are all so cute!  I found this cute bear, and liked it mostly for the inside message (although I could have totally used any card and changed the message to read whatever I wanted), and made a few customizations and had it ready to go in a few minutes.
PP Father's Day Card - Front
PP Father's Day Card - Back
My favorite part has to be that I did this all last Thursday and was able to schedule it to be delivered anytime I wanted!  I obviously scheduled it for early Sunday morning and that was it!  I knew it would get there in time, and I knew my dad would see it because he’s on his computer a lot.  I loved it so much I made one for Mike too!

For Mike I went with a photo card and used a recent photo from a music festival we went to.  I mean, those baby ear protections get me every time!
 PP Mike Father's Day Card - Front
PP Mike Father's Day Card - Back
It was perfect because while I had already gotten Mike a gift I, of course, forgot a card.  And, because we were at a wedding the night before, we ended up sleeping at my sister’s house since she watched Archer for the day and it was easier than moving him.  Mike got his card first thing in the morning, and then later when we got home, he opened his present!

For those that don’t follow me on Instagram, part of the gift included shirts that I’ve had planned to make since basically the day I gave birth to Mike’s mini-me!  Arch-man looks a little apprehensive here, but he loved his matching outfit, I think it’s all the goofy faces I make trying to get him to smile, he’s on to me!

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Overall, Paperless Post was really easy to use, and for this season of my life, where I can’t remember what day it is some days, let alone making sure I’m getting cards in the mail for holidays and birthdays, it’s a really great option!  It’s not limited to cards either, you can send out invitations, flyers, thank you notes, save the dates, etc.

My good friend recently used a similar service to send invitations to her rehearsal dinner, and even though I was a bridesmaid and Mike was not only a groomsmen but also the officiant, (so we were obviously not missing it), it was still super easy to reply and let her know we would be there!  I’m already thinking about what parties I can use this for next!

If you’re thinking about trying it out, use my invite link here for 25 free coins which is enough to send a handful of cards, or maybe invites to your 4th of July BBQ.  I know Archer’s got a super cute outfit picked out, just saying, wink wink!

This post is in partnership with Paperless Post, I received free coins in exchange for my honest review, but all opinions and words are my own.  I honestly loved the service provided and wouldn’t have shared otherwise!

The Shortest Lived Office

The nursery was my office in it’s previous life and while Mike was in Chicago and our pregnancy plans were put on hold I figured I’d redo my office.  I mentioned the idea here and then showed my plans here, but we wasted no time after Mike got home getting pregnant and I never stopped to show you the office space before it was made over into the nursery.  It was never finished, let alone styled, so they’re just phone photos, but I thought it was fun to see.

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I had bought all the items that I had planned to, knowing they would all move into the guest room when we switched over this room. 

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I had thought it would be a little longer like this so I even bought a small cabinet to be used to store my cutting machines.  It was only $35 on Craigslist and had awesome hardware, but unfortunately a faux wood stained paint job too.  Yes, in the photos I was fooled and thought this was stained wood, but once I examined it it was pretty obvious it was painted to look like wood grain (why?!).

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This is where the dark blue paint came from.  I had wanted a dark blue piece anyways and cleaned it up and painted it Sherwin Williams 7615 Sea Serpent.  Due to a miscommunication at the store I was sold a gallon of All Surface Enamel, which was awesome for this project but I didn’t know what I was going to do with a whole gallon of it. 

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It’s a good thing I loved the color, and at first I was worried about painting the wall with it, but I figured if any wall in our house could use the extra protection, it’s the wall in the nursery!  I got really lucky when it worked well with the rug I bought.

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The light in this room can be really great and I was looking forward to styling it as an office, but I was even more excited when we got the news that we would need this room for something else!  Everything moved down the hall except for the rug, which I sold at a loss since it was too small for the new space and the old rug was still in good shape. 

One day I’ll photograph that room, hopefully before we have another kid and I lose my office all together!