Thursday, 28 February 2013

Adoption Journey: Our Story Pt 1

Most of you know we're adopting, but we haven't really shared they why with too many people. Well, here's our story:
     *this is a lengthy post, I tried to break it up with random pictures, so brace yourselves. I know how to ramble.*

Aww look, that's us, posing amoungst the cows at our wedding. Jason is shielding me, and yelling at the cow because he was trying to tongue kiss me; he's got my back. Anywhoooo, back to the story at hand.  

   We started "trying" for a baby as soon as we were married. We pulled the goalie, but we weren't trying, trying. Just sort of letting the higher powers that be take care of us, and hope that we get pregnant. The months came and went, and nothing, so we decided to "try" a little harder. I started to track my cycles more closely, trying to figure out when I would ovulate in the hopes that if we timed it properly it'd happen. We talked before (well I talked and he agreed, like any good husband hehe) that we would try for a year then see a doctor to see if we needed help. I wasn't really too upset at this point, since we'd only been trying for 6/7 months, and we were looking to buy a the timing probably wasn't right. Then we bought a house, and I got laid off, and I had to take a minimum wage job, and we were doing massive renovations, I kept telling myself that timing just wasn't right, and that it was probably for the best that we weren't pregnant yet, because throwing a child into the mix wouldn't be financially responsible.  
   When I was young one of the things I wanted to be most when I grew up was a wife and mother (once I realized that I, unfortunately would never be a caterpillar). Violinist, doctor and tightrope walker were also among top picks. But I knew in my heart that I would grow up to be a wife and mother, and I planned on being a good one. Jason also grew up wanting and knowing he would be a father some day, which is probably one of the subconscious reasons I was drawn to him. I know he'll be a fantastic father. It was part of my plan to be married and have at least one kid by the time I was 25. (You know, that plan you make when you're like 12) Well, since Jason took his sweet time to propose to me (we seriously talked about getting married longer than one of his cousins dated the man she married four months after we did!) that didn't leave much time to have a baby before I was 25. So I had to alter my plan. I decided that as long as I had a baby while I was 25 that would still be ok, that would still count.
    March came around and we still weren't pregnant, and we'd been trying for close to a year (which I know isn't that long in comparison to some people). Now I was finally starting to panic, my window (which I'd already altered once) was starting to close, so I had to step up my game again. I used ovulation tests for a couple months, to know for sure when I was ovulating. Anyone who has tried for an extended period of time knows what this period is like. Where sex becomes a chore, and you're only doing it to try and get pregnant. It wasn't fun anymore, he would ask, and I would either say, "yeah, we should it's the right time." or, "no, we can't do it yet, we have to wait until tomorrow afternoon, that's optimal time." The best time to do it is in the morning, and you really only have a window of about 8-12 hours, you should do it just before you're supposed to ovulate because then the sperm should be higher up, in the right spot for when you do ovulate. Blah, blah, blah. It was starting to take over, it was all I could think about, and I know I talked about it probably more than I should. April came, then May, Our anniversary was clouded, because we still weren't pregnant, and now my window had closed. The only way that I could have a baby while I was 25 was if I hoped for a premie, and what kind of person would that make me?

D'aww, the first picture of the two of us, aren't we so sweet and innocent looking. This was over 7 years ago!

Jason and I began dating a month before my 19th birthday, when we were both doing a victory lap year in highschool, so I guess that technically makes us highschool sweethearts? We met at a New Year's party, that was a typical highschool party, drunk people making out all over the place haha. Jason and I were pretty much the only ones managing to keep our clothes on, even though our intoxication levels were fairly high. At one point in the night I remember saying to him, "I have no one to lay on, and you have no one to lay on you, so I'm just going to lay on you, okay?" I clearly didn't wait for an answer and just plopped my head on his lap. Then later on he asked me if it would be okay if he kissed me at midnight. Well, needless to say that hooked me, how polite! One of the things that kept me coming back to Jason was that he listened, he actually cared about what I was saying - even though we talked about the most ridiculous things. He was one of the most loving, kind, generous people I'd met and it wasn't long before I knew he was "the one". Granted at 19, most people don't take you seriously when you say this is the person you're going to marry. Jason opened me back up, and taught me that it's ok to trust, he helped me through a lot, and I helped him through some things. We talked, to each other, and better yet, we listened.
   May was a very rough month for us, especially me. My window had closed, and everywhere I turned there was a pregnant person, or a new mom. My breaking point was when I saw a man who looked like he was 7months pregnant and I called Jason in hysterics, demanding to know why this man could be pregnant, and I couldn't. Basket case doesn't even begin to describe how ridiculous I was acting. That incident sort of snapped me back to reality, but the whole time Jason was there, supporting me, letting me breakdown because he knew it's what I needed, then helped me when I was ready to pick the pieces back up again. For the second time I had to change the plan for my life. I told myself as long as I get pregnant while I'm still 25 all is well.
    We'd been trying for a year now, so we could at least make an appointment to see if things were working right. If you've tried for a long time to get pregnant, you know all about the "knows best" people. The people who are trying to make you feel better by saying things that in all actuality make you want to roundhouse kick them to the ovaries Chuck Norris style. They say things like, "you're still young." "it'll happen when it happens" "it's all part of God's plan", or one of my personal favourites, "just stop trying." Then there's the ones who try to give you advice, because a friend of a friend of a cousin of a sister-in-law got pregnant as soon as they stopped caring. Well guess what people, I stopped caring, I stopped tracking, I threw my hands up in the air, and said, "Jesus take the wheel" a la Carrie Underwood. I kept asking these people at what point is it safe to say it's not going to "happen when it happens", or how long do we let it go before we're not "still young". You're never too young to seek fertility help. I know when people say those things, they're trying to make us feel better, but they don't. It's better just to not say anything, and nod along when we're telling you how frustrated we are.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Pinterest Challenge: All Wrapped Up

So, it's been a week, and it's time to reveal what I actually got accomplished this time around with the Pinterest Challenge. And I'm proud to say that this time around I actually accomplished some things! WOOT!
   First up, was the faceted pendant that I was planning on making for our's what I ended up with.'s not actually hanging yet...because it's not 100% complete - because I ran out of paper. Seriously, I used more than 200 of those dastardly little cootie-catchers, and I still have probably at least 80-100 more to do! But I think it looks pretty good thus far, and if I hadn't have run out of paper, she definitely would've been complete.

Next comes the picture frames/gallery walls...

I made the "frames" out of scrap 1/4in plywood as well as the backside of the leftover beadboard from the bathroom). I just glued the pictures onto the front of the squares, and slapped them up on the header of the stairwell. There's some tweaks I'll have to make to centering it better for one thing haha.

The last thing I did was make some string art for our bedroom gallery wall.

It looks cooler in real life, lots more dimension to it. I think I might have to add another point under the T, there just seems to be a bit too much open space there. I like the way it looks though, with the grain from the plywood poking through. Now I just have to finish the dresser makeover, and it can be hung up.

So there's the winter Pinterest Challenge of 2013, I'm happy with the results I had, while nothing's perfect, I actually got things done, which is a vast improvement from previous challenges. I'll be back later with how they look once I've finished and tweaked them all!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Inspired By...Black

Too much black is bad right? No one likes black, it's cold, and dark, and goth, and shouldn't even have that prominent a role in your closet, let alone your home right? Why haters gonna hate on black so much? Embrace it, black isn't so bad. Here's some inspiration that just goes to show that black (or a really dark colour) can still be warm and inviting and doesn't scream devil worship.

If you have to do laundry...

Like this open, airy and inviting laundry room. Hello gorgeous shelves and counter - not really sure why you'd need a tv in your laundry room though.

Black and the red branches

This living room shows does a different spin on the classic black and white look.

gray exterior 
 OK, so technically this house isn't black, just a dark grey, but I seriously want to go inside and check it out. It's also an inspiration for a possible colour choice for our house when we paint it. Pulls us toward the dark side.

Julia and Chris show that black in a living room can be warm and cozy and not scary (even with a skull chillin' out on the credenza)

Neon Accents

Aside from the anxiety inducing neon pink table, I'd love to pull a book off that wall and curl up in this dark room.

origami pillow
Maybe you don't want to paint a whole room, or even a whole wall with a bold, dark colour, but that's no reason you can't throw in some fun black accessories, like this origami pillow. It'd look great in just about any room.

Charcoal walls

I love this black and white bathroom, because it's still really dark, and also because we're planning on doing dark walls in our bathroom when we redo it this year. 

Yum! The dark painted brick is the perfect back drop for adding in these bright splashes of colour. Plus, those chairs kind of remind me of the kitchen chairs I grew up with, and tulips are my fav!

Black, it's not for everyone, but it certainly can add a significant amount of drama to any space, and is a great neutral for throwing in greats pops of colour. Black has definitely been inspiring me lately.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Slightly Less Boring

Which could have also been titled, "People Actually Live Here?" or "Hangin' in There" or a plethora of other dumb things. We've been in the house now for 14 months, and we have put nothing on the walls. Oh, wait, that's a lie...we did change out the thermometer for an electronic programmable one. But seriously, aside from all the clutter, you'd not think anyone actually lives here, because there's nothing but bare walls all around. Like I said the other day with the Pinterest Challenge, there's a few gallery's I've been wanting to put up. So I finally did. My sister was over and we couldn't do one of the projects we were planning on doing, so I got bored and slapped up some pictures in the hallway off the kitchen.
   I'm a ding dong and didn't take any before pictures, but let's be honest, it's a hallway, why would you take a picture of it? And really, it's not even a real hallway, more like two opposing walls, that I try to dress up and pretend is a hallway to make it seem more sophisticated. So....wabam!

 It's nothing much, just stuff I had lying around, most of the pictures are mounted on wood slices, and they were up on the walls in the apartment. Here's a closer, slightly less washed out rendering.

This is also after I changed out a few of the pictures so they weren't quite so matchy matchy, and because they were missing the cutest member of our family, who often drives me places.  Beside cute little, truck driving Kai, is a papercut I did a few years ago, I think I'm going to have to change out the background though, the grellow doesn't really go with everything else. Then there's the beautiful plastic doorbell cover. We're wanting to upgrade it to a nicer wood one, but at least the pictures and art sort of distract from it. The yellow paper with the shoes is from our wedding program that I made, it's just taped up there for now. The geometric thing clipped in the giant red clothespin is a little notebook I made quite a while ago too, but I like the paper and it sort of goes with the rest of the stuff up there. The painting I've had since a friend painted it for me in grade 9! He's been around the block this little fisherman dude, but this is the first time he's actually taken up real estate on a wall. That boot is just a newspaper clipping spot holder, until I can get a little canvas to slap a quote on and toss up there (to hide the massive screw sticking out of the wall). It looks pretty good for about 10 minutes of work and absolutely no money, although it does sort of emphasize how crooked the light cover is. There's very few straight, level electrical boxes in this house and it drives me bonkers!
   Hooray for things on the wall that let you know who lives here!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Pinterest Challenge Time

It's that time of year again. The Pinterest Challenge that Katie and Sherri put on, and I always say I'll partake in, then totally drop the ball and feel all guilty. Well not this time! I do proclaim that I will finish at least one thing that I've pinned that I've been meaning to do for ever.

I've been on Pinterest almost since it's inception so I've amassed quite a significant amount of ideas, and projects I want to accomplish. Here's some things I want to get done for this challenge.

Some fun, bright, string art for the art area above the new dresser that's going in our bedroom as soon as I finish refinishing it.

A fun geometric pendant also for the bedroom, to replace the standard ugly one in there.

There's also a bunch of different art that needs to be hung in various places, it's just a matter of deciding how we'd want to do it...  


  Instagram wall


There's a bunch of other things that I'd love to try and get done for this challenge, but that's been my problem in the past. I start too many projects, then never get any done, and end up with a ton of barely started, or half finished projects lying around forever. So my goal is that by narrowing it down to only a few things (none of which I should have to go buy anything for) I should be able to get at least one thing done haha.
And if by some grace of God I manage to get everything done I'll be that much closer to a completed bedroom, which makes me happy!
   So, hopefully next Tuesday I'll have some more fun, completed projects to show off.

Friday, 15 February 2013

One of These Things is Not Like The Other

What do an octopus chandelier, (ok so she's not really an octopus, but she's got 8 legs so close enough)
vinyl floor,


a hutch,

and dresser...
all have in common? Well if you took the bead board out of that equation they'd all be second hand - woot woot! But, really it's that they all should be getting some attention next week. We are long overdue on a number of projects, and one of the unexpected perks of going through the adoption process is it's forcing us to finish a number of house related projects, before the judgement lady comes, and gives us a gold star and tells us we can start our kid  shopping. No longer will things sit in the corner of a room, collecting dust, trying to see how much we can balance on top of them. These poor neglected children will finally get to see the light of day, and have their chance to shine. (That's right, I'm talking about you Octa and Hutch - get ready!) Octa and Hutch, will both be getting a nice crisp white makeover, and will both be residing in the dining room (that is if we ever get it paint ready in there)
   As for the vinyl floor and bead board, we're going to get slap happy with those friends, and throw um up (and down) in our master bath, so it doesn't have to look like this anymore!
it's like that hillbilly cousin you're embarrassed to admit you have. I've already painted and changed out the light fixture, so once we do the floor and bead board we can pretty much call this room "done". Or at least liveable until we can tackle the big makeover we have for it a few years down the road.

Lastly, we have the dresser. I've been searching for a low, long dresser for our bedroom since we moved in. I'd been searching kijiji, and pretty much every thrift store within a 75k radius to find one that fit the bill. I wanted either french provincial or midcentury, with at least 6 drawers, solidly built, and preferably something that was under $200. I was beginning to think that what I wanted was like the elusive flying unicorn that Jason swears exist, and was starting to lose hope. Then, he came to me. I asked Jase's mom if she could keep an eye out on the swap shop that she has access to, and a week later she sent me that picture. He's quite handsome isn't he? I will be giving him a hair cut, because we don't want the mirror attached, and a full body makeover.

So that's what my week is shaping out to contain, hopefully I'll get that, and more done, so I'll actually have things to share.

Kitchen Files: Top That!

We have had many a long discussion regarding the kitchen, and it's gone through a lot of changes since it's conception phase, but it's about to go through it's biggest, and arguably most dramatic. 
   COUNTERTOPS! Holla! We were initially going to do concrete, because we could save a bunch of money and do it ourselves. But I'd always wanted to do a quartz, because well, it's better. So I took the plunge, and went and got some samples. Progressive Counters is the exclusive carrier of Cambria quartz in our area, so I paid them a visit.  The guy (Paul) I talked with was super helpful, and knowledgeable, and gave me some free samples.

 I put this up on Instagram & Facebook, and it was split pretty much right down the middle with what people think we should do. They're showing more yellowy/brown in this pic, here's more accurate representations:

The black is called "Flint Black" from their Classic collection. I like it, it's got nice depth to it, there's some clear glass looking specks that let you see down into deeper layers. It's also a bit reflective, which adds some cool dimension.

But then there's the "Whitney"  from the Jewel collection which I like better. Even Jason said he liked it better - but then changed his mind when I said I liked it the best too haha. Silly boy. It also has the cool glass like pockets that let you see into deeper layers, and some sparkle to it, which almost makes it look like it glistens. It's not so white that it would seem sterile with the white counters and tile, because it has so much grey in it, it's has much more "aggregate" than the black.

What's good about quartz you may ask? Well, it's super durable and hard, it's not going to scratch, or dent like some other types of counter. It's considerably less porous that concrete (or marble) which is fantastic because it means it won't stain - Paul told me I could even spill red wine on it and leave it overnight with no ill effects - I'm not really sure what he was insinuating with that. You never have to seal it with anything, once it's installed you're good to go...concrete on the other hand we'd have to seal at least once a year (but is recommended twice a year). Two of the biggest winning features in our minds (that help make us feel better about the cost) Cambria comes with a Lifetime Warranty, and progressive does everything for us. They come in and take pictures, and precises measurements, and they make the templates, and they make it and cut it. Then they lug it back here and install it and make sure everything looks great, and is seamed properly. While we have no issue taking on a project like making our own countertops, the piece of mind knowing that professionals will be handling things, and if we ever have any issues we have someone to call is wining out right now. Plus we realize that we kind of suck and getting things done haha, and we'd probably still be counterless this time next year if we did it ourselves.
   So we're about 90% sure we'll be going with the Cambria quartz. And while the samples are nice, they didn't really help too much, because the debate is still raging hard about which colour. I should be able to pick up larger samples when I go in to meet for the price quote.
  Hooray for the prospect of counters!