Part of the reason we are moving Kate into another room is because we decided that her current room would make the most appropriate guest room / home office for Jeff. It’s the most isolated of the rooms, it gets the best light, and it gets the strongest wifi signal. But the room is awkward. It really only has 2 walls that can support furniture because of the closet and big window, and the room is narrow enough that it’s tricky to plan for more than a double or queen-sized bed and a dresser. So I guess I’m hoping this desk can potentially serve as a bedside table. And if I put the bed on the wall that I want to put it on, it can be no more than about 35″ wide. Oh, and I don’t want to spend a lot. It’s a tall order.
So I’ve been shopping around for something that I think will work. Jeff insists he doesn’t need a lot of space or storage because the majority of his work happens on his laptop, which helps my cause.
Here are my faves so far:
Of course I started my search at Pottery Barn. Because, duh. If you’ve seen my house, you know I love all the things from that place. I have had my eye on this PB desk (technically bedside table) since, well, forever. But it’s $500 and way more than I want to spend unless I can really, really justify it.
I also like this little guy from Pottery Barn, and I think the style would work with whichever bed I decide to put next to it. The Ludlow Desk from Crate and Barrel is not even a contender for this room, but it totally has me swooning. I like that it looks masculine and clean, and I seriously love the metal accents. Those brass pulls, those lines… I die. (Which is weird because I normally don’t fall for such modern furniture.) Along those slim, dark lines falls this simple beauty from IKEA. At just $40 (seriously!), it’s a pretty tempting purchase. But I wish it had some hidden storage, and I would want to see if the metal reads more brown or black in person.
There’s also this sweet little desk from IKEA, but I’m not crazy about this particular blue, and if I’m going to spend $200 on a desk, I would make the case for something higher quality – like the printers desk from PB above, which has almost the exact same shape and lines. If it came in white, I might be sold.
Finally, there’s my current favorite from Ballard Designs, at least in terms of looks. I love the color, I love the size, I love that we can close it up… I’m just not crazy about the reviews, and the $400 price tag.
So, so far, there just isn’t a clear answer. I’ve been checking thrift stores and craigslist in the area to see if I can find something worth making over, but most desks I find are just way too huge. I’ve also been scouring Joss & Main and One Kings Lane, but I hesitate to buy furniture if I can’t return it.
So where do you shop for furniture? Got a secret little place that might carry the most perfect little desk that I should know about?
I mentioned last week that I knew I was out of time to recap our Christmas(es). I’m ok with that. But I do want to at least put up some of my favorite pictures from both Appleton and Cincinnati. So this week, I’m sharing my favorite shots from Wisconsin. I tried to limit both weeks to just 5 pictures, which isn’t an easy task. And just like last week, I got it down to 6. Close enough.
First things first – thank you so much for all the love and support you have thrown our way since yesterday’s post. Truly, it means the world.
Second things second – I’m planning to start a Facebook page for this blog, hopefully this afternoon. If you are on Facebook, which should include everyone here but my mom, please like the page so you can receive regular updates about posts.
Ok, so let’s move onto the real star of the post… the wall of gold, shiny butterflies I finished in Kate’s big girl room.
I’m actually really excited about how it came out, and I KNOW Kate loves it because she keeps running into the room so she can pet the butterflies. Seriously, she tries to catch them, and she counts them, and I am so happy I did this for her.
Let’s back up to how I did it.
Here’s where we started.
The room was actually a very pretty blue color, but like every other room in this house, the walls were in horrible shape and needed to be repainted. Like, really horrible shape. I’m talking no less than 100 holes in the wall.
See? This is evidence that I never lie. It was like this all the way around the room. It was like this in the room Kate is in now, and it’s like this in the bedroom next to this one. I would really like to know what the prior owners had nailed to the wall in so many places… and I’d like their address so I can mail them some 3M strips to help save the walls of their current home.
Anyway, once I had the walls in pretty decent shape, I painted them in Pratt and Lambert’s “September Glory.”
I talked about this color in my last post about this room. The color is somewhere between pink and purple (it depends entirely on the light and angle what color you see), and I think it’s really, really pretty in person. Since the walls needed so many repairs, I probably should have used flat paint, but I need them to be washable (ahem, 2 year old tenant), so I went with the Benjamin Moore’s no-VOC Ultra Spec 500 in an interior low sheen. And I am really happy with how well it hides the many MANY patches.
After painting, I tested out my butterflies. You may remember that my inspiration came from this picture.
I loved how this looked like wallpaper, but could be painted over pretty easily. So I tried two different stamps and a stencil to see which worked best.
The first butterfly stamp was just way too small, as you can tell by comparing it to the cracked baseboard. I loved the dragonfly stamp, but the scale of the butterfly stencil won me over. So after lightly sanding and painting over the test flies, I got to work.
I started by measuring the wall, and doing some not-so-scary math to figure out that my butterflies could all be 15″ apart and have everything look lined up and centered. I love it when math is easy. Then I marked the center of the room, and carefully measured where each butterfly on the three center rows should go.
From there, I used my level (marked at 15″ with a piece of tape for easy measuring) to place the stencil in the appropriate place.
To make my job easier, I used some spray adhesive made specifically for stencils – this held my stencil on the wall, but it was just a tacky hold and didn’t pull off any of the paint. You can get it at any craft store near the stencils.
59 butterflies later, and I called it done. Overall, it took me 3 naps to finish it. (Do any other parents out there measure their time in “naps?” When does your time measurement shift back into minutes and hours, I wonder?)
Anyway, it was a very manageable project, and I am so happy with the final result. If I was crazy, I’d attempt the other 3 walls, but with the window, closet and door, I think I’m good.
It’s been about six months since I’ve updated you about our infertility struggle. Unfortunately, we haven’t had any success since that post.
Shortly after I wrote it, we started a more aggressive drug treatment to get me to ovulate. The process included multiple ultrasounds, nightly shots, blood tests, IUI’s, and so many phone calls to my Reproductive Endocrinologist’s nurse that she’s starting to feel like family. The drugs worked and I ovulated, but we had no luck getting pregnant, and my RE couldn’t figure out why.
One major puzzle piece to this was an inconclusive HSG dye test I had done to check my fallopian tubes last summer. When we did the test, it was unclear if my right tube was open. After only seeing follicles develop on my right side, I asked to have the test repeated. Well, we found that my right tube is in fact blocked, and my left ovary doesn’t produce follicles.
Which means our only option for another baby is IVF. I won’t go into detail about how IVF is done, because there is already some good information out there, but I can tell you that those are some very big, very scary letters to hear.
Since learning this is our fate, and then learning more about what it’s going to take to do it, Jeff and I have both run the gamut of emotions – sadness, doubt, anger, hope… Those stages of grief are pretty accurate. And I say grief because that’s really what this has been for us. Of course no one has died in this process, but honestly, sometimes I do feel like I’m mourning the babies I’m supposed to have but can’t. I’ve had to let go of a very real dream, and that’s really, really hard to do.
I definitely had a day when I was just plain angry. Mostly I was angry with my body for betraying me. But I was also mad at the world for giving me this false belief that it’s easy to have babies. When you are 31, all you see are pregnant women expanding their families, and for someone who wants the same, it all feels very unfair. And it is. Infertility is a bitch, and it’s totally unfair.
But the one emotion that has been the hardest to face – one that I’m still struggling to conquer – is the fear. Fear of the more intensive shots and treatments, fear that it won’t work and we’ll be out of options, fear of the stress it will put on our family, fear that it will work and then something will go wrong…
Ultimately, though, I think I have settled into acceptance. This is our reality. This is what it’s going to take.
Did I ever think this was going to be me? Of course not.
Do I feel strong enough to take this on? Most days, yeah, I do.
Does it give me a better appreciation for the things I do have? Definitely.
For now, we wait. We’re taking a break from everything, which has been a welcome change since I’ve been doing different treatments for over a year now. When the time is right, we’ll get things going again. In the meantime, please send your prayers and positive thoughts our way. I have a feeling we’re going to need them.
It’s February, and I still haven’t shared a single detail from our Christmas. I have a feeling my time to do so is running thin. So this week I am posting my five favorite pictures from our time in Cincinnati, and next week I’ll do the same from our Christmas in Wisconsin. I actually didn’t do the greatest job using my good camera, so some of these are with my phone and/or are not the best pictures. But they make me smile, and they are how I want to remember our holidays.
I lied. Here’s a sixth picture. This is how Kate insisted on dressing for the car ride over to Nina and Papa’s. Who am I to say no to this?
I’m here! I’m alive! I’m sorry I haven’t been posting much. All I can say is January just wasn’t my month. Which means 2014 so far just hasn’t been my year. But I’m turning my frown upside down, and I’m moving on. So, truly – I’m here! I can’t promise I’ll be writing as often as I was last fall, but I do promise to post at least a couple times a week, so please keep coming back.
One of the fun reasons I haven’t been on here is I’ve been working on Kate’s big girl room a little bit. A plan has been hatched, and I’m liking where it’s going… and it all began with a sweater. Yep, you read that right. A sweater. This sweater.
You may or may not remember that this sweater was given to Kate for her first Christmas. It was originally started by my aunt Trina, and then finished/re-knitted by my aunt Carol, and it means the absolute world to me. So I want to work it into the design of Kate’s room. When I brought it to Benjamin Moore to look at paint colors, the designer working there actually brought me to some pinkier tones than I had planned on. Which, I’m not going to lie, freaked me out a little. But by the time I got home and tried some samples on the wall, I started to come around to the idea.
Then the next day while I was wondering Target (as I so often do), I found this pillow…
…and I was SOLD on the pink walls.
I had already been eyeing this bedding from Pottery Barn Kids:
The grey and the plum and the pink in the pillow seemed to just pull it all together. So I went back to Benjamin Moore and pulled the trigger. The color is Pratt and Lambert’s September Glory.
As you can see, it definitely looks pink, but it has a little lavender in it. With a few more plum accents, I think the room is going to feel more purple than pink, and I really think Kate is going to love it.
For the rest, I’m planning for off-white furniture, white sheets, grey bedding, some neutral curtains, and gold accents. I’m hoping that by using lots of neutrals to add softness and dimension, the room won’t feel overwhelmingly pink or purple. And while it will definitely feel youthful, I’m not afraid of Kate growing out of the room anytime soon.
I also want to try something fun on one of her walls. I pinned this image, and I think I can do something similar with a butterfly stamp and gold ink.
I’m guessing that the effect will be sort of subtle with a darker paint behind the stamp, but it should add a little interest and sparkle. Plus, it should be super easy to paint over if I hate it. I’m still not sure about this one – I plan to test it out this weekend and you know I’ll report back.
So that’s where we stand. The room is cleared out, and I’m working on prepping the walls today so I can start painting tomorrow. I’m super excited to see how it comes together. And I know Kate is really pumped for her big girl room. Hopefully I’ll have a good update for you next week.