Wrenn’s Nursery – the big reveal!

Holy cow, we are going to have a baby TOMORROW. Someone pinch me! It has been 239 days since we found out I was pregnant, and in ONE DAY we’re finally going to get to meet our Baby Girl.

Before I get all weepy and sentimental, I thought I’d give you a quick nursery tour so you can see what Miss Wrenn is coming home to. She may not actually stay in here for a few weeks, but I figure life is about to get crazy so I wanted everything to be (mostly) ready for her.

Here goes:


We were pretty thrifty and used mostly hand-me-down and repurposed items, so we splurged on the glider – it’s from Buy Buy Baby with a custom fabric (I don’t see it on their website, but you can find it in stores). We used a 20% off coupon which helped.

The crib was FREE from Pottery Barn thanks to leftover gift certificates from our wedding two-and-a-half years ago (if you got us a gift card for our wedding – thank you!). The map picture is from Society 6 (we bought the 38″x26″ one). And the bedding – except for the sheet – was made by me. The sheet is from Target. We opted for no bumpers because (1) pediatricians now advise against them, and (2) it was one less thing to purchase or make. Score!

nursery 2

Everything on this side of the room is repurposed. The mirror was free and came with the buffet we refinished in 2012. The dresser/changing table was a hand-me-down from my in-laws (we’re going to paint it and add funky knobs later…) and the armoire was a housewarming gift from my sisters back in 2006 that just got a fresh coat of paint, as well as some new shelves thanks to Mr. Right (including a hidden compartment at the bottom to store diapers – yea!).

We still lack hanging up a few photos, an an area rug, and some curtains. But let’s be honest – most of the windows in my house are missing curtains, so Baby Girl may have to wait awhile for those.


And finally – here’s Wrenn’s bag packed and ready to go to the hospital! We check in tonight and get the party started first thing in the morning. Go ahead and say a prayer (or ten) for both of us that this delivery is safe, SWIFT, and a positive experience for all three of us.

See you tomorrow, Wrenn Olivia!

Our backyard becomes the victim of more nesting

As I mentioned in a previous post, Mr. Right has been nesting even more than me. I was really concerned with getting the nursery put together, which he so wonderfully helped me with (since I can’t paint, move heavy things, etc.), and once he finished that, he moved on to the backyard.


I came home from work one night to a surprise – he had finished building the pergola that we started last summer when we expanded our patio. Check out his handiwork – he did everything in one afternoon! My man is so talented when it comes to dreaming things up and then turning them into reality. While you’re at it, check out our monster urban garden he built last summer – we’re eating the best home-grown tomatoes in the whole world right now.


You’ll notice he also put twinkle lights above our table because, well, I have a weird obsession with twinkle lights. If I could, I’d leave Christmas lights on our house year-round, but then we’d be those neighbors (actually, sometimes I wonder if we already ARE those neighbors). The twinkle lights make a bit of a chandelier right over our table – It’s my favorite part!


Can you tell we don’t like to mow? We’ve slowly but surely filled our tiny backyard with flowers, patios, and vegetable gardens. One or two more summers and there won’t be a blade of grass anywhere to be seen!

And, while we’re at it, I thought I’d show you some other new additions, including our succulents (um, hello – succulent is code for cactus which is code for “okay if you forget to water for weeks at at time” – this is my new favorite plant!):


Another easy plant to keep alive is moss rose – and it blooms the most beautiful, colorful blooms. The only drawback is that it wilts every night, so if you’re hosting a lot of evening parties, it will look like you’ve got a dead plant. But during the day, it’s breathtaking. I’m also partial to hibiscus, which reminds me of Hawaii.


And then there’s our potted jalapenos, which I plan to wrap in bacon and cream cheese any day now. Yum.


We have tried to spend every cool evening sitting on our patio, soaking up the new place. It makes me feel like I’m on vacation in my own backyard. Thanks to my Mr. Right for dreaming up such a wonderful escape for us!


Our “new” buffet

My sweet in-laws gave us this dresser over a year ago – someone had given it to them, and we told them we’d love to refinish it and use it as a buffet for our dining room. The drawers are nice and wide and would be perfect to hold dishes and place mats and all of our fancy serving ware. 
And then this beautiful dresser sat in our garage for over a year. First I was sick, then we put our rent house on the market, then I hit my busy season with work, and next thing we knew, it was the dead of winter and much too cold to tackle a garage project.

But last weekend after lazily watching a Saturday morning movie with Mr. Right as we recovered from our California trip, I got a wild hair to work on the dresser.

It’s really a fabulous piece of furniture – look at those curves! This 300 pound solid wood beauty had lived in a little girl’s bedroom for many years and been well-loved. It was time for her to get a makeover. 
First, I sanded off the rough edges and scratches with our electric sander. Because of the primer we chose, we didn’t have to completely remove the finish, just make it smooth. 

We decided to use spray paint on this project, and I’m so glad we did – it was a total dream! Take it from a girl who has used a paint brush on all of my previous furniture projects – this was SO MUCH FASTER.
First, we used KILZ primer in white to prime it for painting. My only complaint is that it went on a little rougher than I would have liked.

While the primer was drying I ran to the grocery store then stopped by the local hardware store to pick up white high gloss spray paint. By the time I got home an hour later, the primer was dry and we were ready for round two – painting.

I used 2-3 coats of spray paint, which went on really smoothly. We had a few drips, but nothing we couldn’t fix. The whole thing took about 30 minutes, as opposed to several hours of painting with a brush. I will forever be a spray paint kind of girl.

We debated about what type of hardware we would buy (and since we had 12 drawers, we knew that was going to be pretty expensive), but my interior designer sister suggested we just spray paint the original hardware black since it’s still an interesting shape.  

And five minutes and one can of spray paint later, we had black hardware that looked brand-new.

Then came the hardest part – we had to let it dry overnight. I was so tempted to go ahead and move it into the house because I couldn’t wait to see how it would look in our dining room – but I was good and my patience was rewarded… everything dried perfectly.
The next day Mr. Right and I carried it into the dining room and I installed all of the hardware and then added padded white drawer liners to protect our dishes from sitting directly on the wood. Now our beloved buffet houses our china, chargers, place mats and other accessories, and I love it because everything has its own compartment. It’s a disorganized organized girl’s dream!

And of course, we left a little note to remember our project.

I have a new big girl bed

I have a new big girl bed. Thanks to my fabulous in-laws who decided to change up their guest bedroom, we got this gorgeous thing as a hand-me-down. Swoon.

Mr. Right asked me what I thought, as I was lying in bed, feeling totally spoiled by a headboard AND a footboard. I told him I feel like a princess.
“And you know what?” he asked me. “There’s no duct tape.”
Ahh, yes. That’s how I know I’ve made it to the big time. I have a bed with a headboard, a footboard, and NO duct tape. Very unlike the bed I used for the past nine years… a hand-me-down from a sweet neighbor’s son (circa 1982) with a headboard that just leaned against the wall and a bed frame held together with half a roll of duct tape. And no footboard.
In case you’re wondering, duct tape could probably hold an 18-wheeler to a high rise. It held me for nine years, including a few times when I may or may not have jumped and/or danced on my bed (don’t judge).
Now I just need to figure out what to hang over our bed – I used to have two hand-carved boards from Pottery Barn that I somehow, in a fit of stubbornness, hung myself – wall anchors and all – even though they weigh about 50 pounds each. There are about 100 holes hiding behind those two hangings, so either Mr. Right is going to have to patch them, or we’re going to have to find something gigantic to cover the holes. I may have to give my interior designer sister a call for a consult. I’m hoping she’ll trade some tips for free babysitting… she’s going to need it come this summer when my nephew arrives. (enter squeals of excitement here)
Oh, and I should probably take the bedskirt we got as a wedding gift out of the package, now that I have my big girl bed. I’ve been meaning to do it for the past 13 months, but it requires ironing. And I hate ironing. But now I’m inspired.
As for curtains on that poor, naked window (there’s actually about four naked windows)… that will have to wait awhile longer. I’ll be too busy looking at my big girl bed to even notice them.

Do you burn more calories when you heart is racing?

It’s T-minus 12 days until a little party I’m throwing for 1,000 people.
Yep. A thousand.
To get ready for this little shindig, I had to produce a 10-minute video. Hire a cake decorator from The Food Network. Work with the White House, the Governor’s office, and every elected official our hospital is connected to on the city, state, and national level. And ship some custom-made chocolates across the United States in a refrigerated truck.
You might say I’m a little stressed. But I’m also so excited I can barely stand it.
In other news:
-I am now belting all of my flowy shirts so that pestering P-question goes away.
-I finished my Pink Lady quilt… I’m so pleased, even though I learned a difficult lesson in binding the quilt… I stink at it. But it’s finished and next time, I’ll be hand-finishing that binding.
-I’ve already started on my next quilt… this one is a gift. I haven’t decided if I will go ahead and spill the beans early, or hold out and surprise my sweet friend who will be receiving it, and then just blog about it later. We’ll see if I can keep a secret (doubtful).
-I’m taking Mr. Right on a surprise date this Saturday. He plans so many of these for me, and I’ve never planned one for him. I’m so excited, and I LOVE getting to tease him and watch him squirm – he wants to know SO BADLY what we’re going to do. Just between you and me – it’s going to be so. much. fun.
-Next week I start teaching English as a Second Language classes at my church, just one evening a week. My life-long dream of being an English teacher is about to be fulfilled in a very unexpected way. God is so cool like that. I can’t wait to meet the women from all over the world who will be in my class. They don’t know this, but I’ve been praying for them for months.
-We did a major house decorating update Saturday, for total cost of a can of spray paint. People keep donating the coolest furniture to us (thanks to our parents on both sides), and Saturday we finally put almost everything in its place, painted a mirror, hung pictures, and Mr. Right even built me a shelf from scrap wood he had in our garage. I am so pleased with the finished result, which includes a craft room for me! I now have a fantastic set-up for sewing and crafting in our back spare bedroom, including a dresser I’m using to organize all my supplies. Pictures coming soon. And Mr. Right has an even better-looking office with a vintage-lookig mirror he painted and stained. We realize that once we fill our home with children, my sewing room and his study will probably be relegated to our closet, so we plan to thoroughly enjoy the space while we have it.
During the house decorating, Mr. Right hung up our wedding thumb print tree (we used this in place of a guest book at our wedding and showers… you can buy it off of Etsy) in our living room, and I was so happy to see it up that I cried. I know – I’m a bit sentimental, but seeing the signatures of all of our favorite people absolutely made my day.
It’ll probably hang in our house until we’re old and gray, and then it will follow us to the nursing home. The verse on there is from 2 Thessalonians 3:5 – the scripture Will began secretly praying over me after our first date.

The barking dog

Dear Neighbor:

Your barking dog woke me up again this morning. He does this every morning. It’s not like I sleep late… sometimes your dog wakes me up before my alarm goes off at 6:30. On the weekends, your dog usually wakes me up around 7:00 a.m. I really do like animals, but I don’t want to hear your dog bark before I have the chance to stumble out of bed to have my first cup of coffee. I’m a patient individual, but not until after 8:00. Before that, I’m a bit irrational.

Part of me wants to march over to your house, knock on the door, and very sweetly ask you to muzzle your dog. But I don’t know you yet, and I’m not sure how you’ll take my request. I’d hate for you to shoot me or vandalize my house or something.

I have considered leaving you a note. Maybe I could type it, or cut the letters out of a magazine and paste it together so you won’t be able to track it back to me. But that seems kind of passive-aggressive, and I’m really a nice person. At least, when I’ve had my sleep.

I’ve thought about calling the city to report you. Or maybe the Homeowner’s Association. Or I could always shoot your stupid dog with a tranquilizer dart. Not to kill it, of course, but to shut it up for a few hours.

I’ve had a lot of time to think about my options as I lay in bed each Saturday morning, unable to sleep because of the constant, incessant barking. Over and over and OVER.

So please at least consider the muzzle. Or a tranquilizer. Or maybe move. Just please, PLEASE stop the barking. Even my dog, the Wonder Schnoodle, is annoyed.

Thank you,
A concerned neighbor

Patio: Done!

My dad, the saint, came and finished my patio today while I was at work… which means the project is done! Well, actually, projects are never done… but this one is pretty close. I still need to add some more flowers to my new garden (those roses look kind of lonely), keep shopping for some patio furniture, and start saving for that grill. But the hard part is out of the way, thanks to my wonderful dad who worked SO hard on it.

And the best part is… tonight I am enjoying some beautiful bright pink roses on my kitchen table, cut from my garden! Not that I can take credit, since they were already there when I bought the rose bushes, but they’re officially my very first roses from my rose garden! Yea!

On another note… Today some of my coworkers and I went to the Reata for a lunch. We’re using them to cater an event in two weeks, so we had an excuse to go do a “tasting.” These are actually very important–at the tasting for my gala last month, the dessert turned out to be NASTY. If we hadn’t done a run-through, then my 180 guests would have been served a terrible dessert. Instead we made a last-minute change to something much better. Whew.

So back to the tasting… Reata is my absolute FAVORITE place to eat in the whole world. It’s kind of pricey so I rarely go, but I really do love it. Even more than pedicures. And today, because we were choosing between several different entree options for our upcoming luncheon, they served us THREE meals for TWO people! And on top of that, we just HAD to get dessert (their molten chocolate cake is to DIE for, as is their ice cream tacos, peacn pie… I could go on…). I got to take tons of leftovers home, so I enjoyed Reata for dinner tonight, and I’ll be having another meal for lunch tomorrow. Sometimes my job is really nice.