Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Impromptu DIY Project

I'm off work for the move. Don't go back until next Wednesday, and couldn't be more thrilled. While my time would be most productively spent packing up my house, I still wanted to get some last minute visiting in with the friends that I'm moving far away from. 

MFN (My Friend Natalie) and I decided to meet up for lunch at Red Robin today, and as always, had a FABULOUS time. After we had finished eating and were just sitting around talking, I somehow mentioned that I've been wanting to make a chicken wire earring holder. My earring situation was a HOT MESS up until today, so it was definitely something that needed to be done. I'd seen some on Pinterest that I really liked:

Source: Pinterest
And showed it to Natalie. She really liked the idea, so I half jokingly said, "Let's do it today!", and to my surprise, she agreed. Off we went to find the supplies. 

Neither Lowe's or Home Depot had small chicken wire, so we opted for "wire cloth" instead. And we found our frames at a local Meijer. (Which is a grocery store/supermarket chain here in the midwest if you didn't know.) If you do this project make sure to buy a wood frame. Natalie bought a cute plastic one and we realized later that there was no stapling into that. Luckily, she had a couple extra frames sitting around her basement, so she ended up using one of them. 

DIY Framed Wire Earring Holder


Frame (I bought an 8.5 x 11 frame and it is currently holding about 20 pairs of earrings with a tiny bit of room to grow.

Chicken Wire or Wire Cloth - you can find this at Lowe's, Home Depot, or any home improvement store.

Wire cutters

Staple gun (In our case, the staple gun wasn't working so we ended up using the heavy duty staples and a hammer. Worked like a charm.)

Take the back off the frame and take out the glass and mat. Then cut out a piece of wire cloth bigger than the frame itself. We decided to put the wire cloth in at a 45 degree angle to give it a little style. I highly recommend this. 

Stuff the chicken wire into the frame. Gloves are highly recommended for this part. We didn't have gloves and now we have scars. Womp womp. Cut out "V" shapes from each corner. This will help you get the wire into them. 

Use a staple gun to staple the wire to the inside of the frame. As I said before, our staple gun wasn't working, so we ended up hammering the staples in place. It worked pretty well. Oh, and we used pliers to hold the staples in place while hammering. 

Once you've got the wire secure, trim off the excess and voila! You've got a super easy, super quick, super cute earring holder! 

Here's mine after I got all my dangly earrings in it.

Too cute, right? My frame was $13 and the wire cloth was $11, but we have enough wire cloth left over to make at least four or five more of these. Love it! 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


On Christmas Day of 2010, my new little family was cleared to leave the hospital. A day early after going through an "easy" c-section that resulted in the most precious, gorgeous, adorable, ten-pound baby boy you ever did see.

Because that beautiful baby boy wasn't born to the smartest parents on the block, we drove, without any pain medication (it's hard to find an open pharmacy on Christmas Day) more than two hours straight from the hospital to The Hubs' family Christmas. And then from there, we drove another two hours in the opposite direction to my family's Christmas. 

We wanted everyone to meet this amazing little creature that we had somehow miraculously created. Joy practically bubbled from my skin because of that little boy, who was somehow able to overshadow Christmas - the highest of holidays - so much that pain barely registered from eight inches of stitches placed not 48 hours previously. 

After what turned out to be one of the most happy, yet exhausting days of my life, we finally headed to our apartment. I made sure to have our camera at the ready as my husband unlocked the door and carried our newborn son into his new home. We walked in to the glow of twinkle lights on our Christmas tree, as it's our tradition to keep the tree lit all night on Christmas Eve so Santa can see where to put all the presents. As we settled in for the first time as a family, my Christmas present slept peacefully on my chest. Santa had outdone himself that year. 

Eventually we all tucked in for the night, our entire world wrapped up in blankets in a pack and play near our bed. Sometime around four a.m., he awoke with a cry. As my brain shifted instantly from sweet dreams to "red alert!", I shot up in bed. That was the beginning of my life as a person who can't sleep through the night. Who wakes at the slightest breeze. But if that's what it means to be somebody's Mama, then I don't need to ever sleep again.   

I assumed that he was hungry, since so much of being a parent is just guessing and hoping you're right. So I prepared a bottle and brought his ten-pound tininess into the living room, where the twinkle lights still cast a soft glow on our Christmas night. I sat down on the couch and rocked him - my whole heart had taken the shape of a person. Ten fingers, ten toes, blue eyes and a head full of dark hair. A version much improved from that weird red thing thumping in my chest. 

As we rocked, I couldn't take my eyes off him. The world could have been crumbling down around us and I never would have known, since he was my world, and he was right there, perfect. 

We rocked and he ate, and I told him all about Christmas Day, and that he was the most special gift I could have ever received and I was so thankful. I told him about Santa and elves, and reindeer and presents for good little boys. I sang Silent Night on repeat. Eventually, he fell asleep, and I did too. 

Time has passed. We've had two more Christmases full of twinkle lights and presents for good little boys. We've had birthdays with balloons and Halloweens with pumpkins. We've had trips to the playground and pulled the bark off of countless trees. (Sorry, trees!) And we have lived. As imperfect as this too-small, crappy-neighbors, bad-parking, inept-management apartment is, it has been home. Steadfast shelter from storms, a place of our own to lay our heads down at night, a place perfectly suited to nourish and grow those sweet memories that make up a life. 

Last night was the last night for that beautiful little boy to sleep in his crib in the place he has known as home for the entirety of his existence. While I know that he cares much less about this than I do, and that he'll transition smoothly into sleeping in his room at the new place, I can't help but shed a few tears that those "firsts" are over and it's time to say goodbye. 


A very smart and talented writer/editor friend of mine is also moving from her house of "firsts". She wrote this beautiful poem, which sums up perfectly how, somehow, a building made of bricks and mortar can become a part of the family, too. 

To the New Owners of Our House

By Heather Martin

The ghost in the big closet 
flickers the light in the back
once in awhile.
Just to keep you looking up.

Afternoon sun spreads 
wide onto the family room floor.
Nap there some saturdays.

Front deadbolt won’t budge?
Put your hip into it and push harder.
Also—don’t WD40 the squeak
out of the kid’s room door.
It’s an excellent alarm.

Backing out of the driveway
won’t always feel like threading a needle.
And there are 16 steps
from the living room
to the second floor.
You don’t need the light.

Oh, and the office floor slope
drags the chair away
when you stand up.
So look before you sit.

Please: Finish the basement
we almost started.
(The paneling is as awful as it looks.)
But fix the avocado green rotary phone
hanging off the hook
under the laundry chute.
It’s closer than dashing up
two short flights to the kitchen,
and it puts a little mystery back in the ring.

Speaking of the chute: It’ll choke
on two pairs of jeans at once.
Take your time.
It’s only wash.

Some evening,
in the pauses between
the groans and creaks
of your new old house,
you might hear the burp of the box
closing on a Trivial Pursuit night
that outlasted a fifth of Maker’s
and more than one bottle of Merlot.
A mouthy black cat
complaining down the stairs.
Or the lingering exhale of parents
bringing their only
through the door for the first time.

Soon, though, these spirits
will move down the road,
Clearing space for your story.

Tell a good one.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

On the Subject of Moving

So, we're moving. In with my in-laws. And I don't want to.

This is so not a good time to be in my marriage right now. I am miserable at the thought of having to move in there. For so, so many reasons that my husband just doesn't "get". I've been independent my whole life, and the thought of moving in with family when we truly don't have to is just killing me.

Not to mention the fact that I just don't feel comfortable there. It's not that they try to make me uncomfortable, it's just that it's not my house, you know? This might seem stupid, but they don't have a living room or family room area with a couch and a tv to just veg in front of. And vegging in front of the tv is one of my main activities. LOL. When we move in, if I want to watch tv, I'll either have to do it in our bedroom (where I can't be watching Logan if he's awake and running through other parts of the house), or in the eat-in part of the kitchen, where their only public tv is, while sitting at the dining room table. How can you really get comfortable and veg out while sitting at the dining room table?

And the other thing? I know you'll all find it absolutely shocking, but I'm not a Miss Mary Sunshine 24/7/365. (Gasp!) The Hubs' parents are very much a "let's not talk about anything upsetting or bad or get in an argument in front of anybody" kind of people. I've known them for seven years and never once seen them come close to arguing. And there have been times when (in my OWN house, mind you) I've said something to The Hubs about something I don't agree with and the MIL has been there, and she's openly scoffed at me for saying what I've said or expressing my feelings in anything less than a Miss Mary Sunshine way. I can't go for the next year (at least) without expressing my feelings or opinions to my husband. I. WILL. EXPLODE.

I am on the verge of an anxiety attack because I'm imagining all the ways in which this is going to suck. It's not that I don't see the positives. There are some. But the selfish part of me sees all the positives for everybody else, and none for me. The Hubs goes back to living at home (which he did until he was 30, so he's completely comfortable there.) He gets to be taken care of by his mom again. He gets to be closer to the shop (a big garage on their property with every tool imaginable) so it will be easier for him to fix things. He gets to be closer to his friends. My MIL gets to have her baby back in her house, with the bonus of her grandchild (who she acts like more of a mother to). She won't have to drive 45 minutes each way every day to watch our kid anymore.

What's in it for me? Saving money for a house, which was the premise I agreed to? Not really. You know, surprisingly, you don't really save a ton of money moving in with someone. Especially when we were super lucky to have extremely low rent at our apartment. And the money that we're saving will go to paying down our debt first, which we won't even fully be able to do in a year. So to me, it's looking like I get to be completely miserable and uncomfortable in a place where I feel constantly judged, for no benefit. We'll basically be slightly less in the hole than we were when we were living on our own, with no savings to speak of for a house down payment.

This is me whining.


/end rant

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


I know, I know. I'm sorry.

Just a quick update to let you know that I'm still alive and kicking. Work is ridiculous right now, plus I'm packing for the move, plus attempting to finish some school work, plus being a mom and a wife and a daughter.

Starting week 3 of the unfill and loving almost every minute of it. Except for the ones where I shove all the food in my face because I can. Working on it, and excited to get to the point in a couple weeks when I can start filling Tim Gunn back up again. SLOOOOOOWLY. I will have reached the one month mark on May 21st, but I'm not sure I want to start filling back up just a few days before we go through the moving process. Stress plus all that physical activity...I'm concerned about feeling too tight during the move, which just doesn't sound fun. I'll probably hold off on a fill until the 28th or so.

I'm trying to keep up with all your blogs as best as I can. I may be few and far between on the comments right now, but just know that I love all y'all and I'm thinking about you and your journeys.