Thursday, June 27, 2013

Welcome to Our Home: Banks' Room

Well. We've been in our "new" home for 8.5 months now. And I can now finally say, that ONE room is completely "done." That's right. One. ONE room. Sheesh. 

I am just having a hard time committing to what I want in each room of the house. There are a few pictures hung and, to be fair, the playroom is also almost done. I guess maybe I find kid rooms easier to decorate than grown-up rooms. Hmpf. I wonder what that says about me... 

Anyway. I digress.

Hip, hip, hooray! Yahoo! Yippee! One room is done. And it just so happens to be a room that also very closely resembles the same room in our old Atlanta house. But. Details, details. Let's not get distracted by small details. Let me just relish in the fact that, almost nine months after moving in, hooray! ONE room is done.

And it just so happens to be my little buddy's room. 

You can see what his room looked like in our Atlanta home here. But here it is, in our new home, with a few new details, in all it's little boy glory.

One side of Banks' room (I LOVE the wainscoting but cannot take credit for it or the light blue wall color-we were lucky enough to move in with it already like this)

Here is Banks' big boy bed (from Pottery Barn Kids), with the guardrail now removed. The bin at the foot of his bed holds stuffed animals as well as the baby blanket my mom knitted for him. I bought the big "B" online and painted it navy blue. One of my favorite new additions to the room!

The bedding is the ever-popular madras print from Pottery Barn. I love it because it can definitely grow with him and can be incorporated to any number of room changes and paint color changes.

Y'all. I MADE this name pillow!!! Are you impressed? Well, don't be. I simply took a pillow used in Banks' old nursery, wrapped it with fabric (a la present-style), and held it together with scotch tape in the back! Ha! Same thing with the letters: I free-handed them and cut them out of felt and used double-sided tape to adhere them to the pillow. I definitely plan to get a more functional pillow from Goat & Lulu one day...maybe one not held together using scotch tape. :)

I ordered these old airplane postcards back when we were living in Atlanta but having been looking for the perfect way to showcase them. Enter Pottery Barn kids and these awesome bungee boards that I found on sale. Score!

This vintage plane is on one of the corner shelves above Banks' bed. I found it on sale at Hobby Lobby for 50% off. I love their (often on sale!) decor items!

These items are on the other corner shelf above his bed. I picked up the wooden biplane during a girls' shopping trip during beach vacation last summer. The canister is from Hobby Lobby, also purchased last year (on sale, I'm sure).   

Banks' dresser is also from Pottery Barn Kids. The two frames on the desk house photos of him with each of his parents as a newborn. There is also a red oblong bucket that is used to hold odds and ends. The propeller clock and vintage airplane print were purchase from Hobby Lobby as were the "F-L-Y" letters, which I painted navy blue. My favorite item from the dresser?...

The airplane lamp! I bought this little lamp from Target and glued navy blue ribbon along the top and bottom of the shade. I then cut navy blue paper using an airplane punch and glued them to the inside of the lamp. This way, when it's illuminated, the airplane shadows show through the shade.

Here is the other half of Banks' room.

Three biplanes hang from the ceiling and float freely through the air. 

I picked up this shelving system from Target as well as the covered buckets (which were from the $1 section). I covered the cross in the same fabric used on Banks' new name pillow. His teeball trophy (as well as one of his Dad's trophies, per his request) are also on display. 

Hanging on the wall above the shelving unit but below the hanging airplanes is the most special piece in the room: The Purple Heart that was given to Banks' namesake and so sweetly passed down to him by our Nana and Pop. So, so special.

We totally lucked into these red curtains, with came with the home and, believe it or not, already had the adorable airplane curtain hangers!


These are two new additions to the room...

I simply spray-painted an old, cheap frame navy blue and covered the backing with navy blue chevron fabric. Then I found a Google image of an airplane, traced it onto red cardstock, cut it out, and glued it to the fabric. Voila! Cheap, easy, and cute!

These adorable airplane hooks (that just so happen to match the bedding perfectly!) were made by Sweet as Peas. I love them!

So, there you have it! The ONE room in our house that is finally finished. I really love how it turned out. :) 

Stay tuned for future home decorating progress. Hopefully it won't take another 9 months to finish the next room...

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Happy Anniversary... the man who makes me feel like dancing everyday. 

I love you with all my heart, Rich. 

Cheers to 9 Years!

Monday, June 24, 2013

My Best Yes

The greatest decision I ever made was saying an enthusiastic, "Yes!!!," when my hub asked THE question just over 10 years ago. 

But let me back up. 

We started "officially" dating on June 16, 2002. As I have mentioned in a previous post, this, coincidentally...or NOT (if you ask me)...just so happened to be the anniversary of my Dad's death. 

Two weeks later, that's right, TWO weeks, my hub and I were walking around the Botanical Gardens in Clemson, when he took me to this beautiful swing overlooking the gardens, and said, "I love you" for the first time. You see, I was leaving soon for the summer to work at a camp for extremely troubled children in Windser, New Hampshire, and he wanted to make sure I knew how he felt. I did. Because I felt exactly the same way. 

In a crazy turn of events, he ended up living in New Hampshire, and working alongside me, at the 24-hours-day, 7-days-a-week, camp. That's true love, I tell ya. It's also where our love story really took off. But that's a story for another time, another day.

After our summer in New Hampshire, we returned to Clemson to finish out our Senior years. I graduated in May (my hub, very smart but also a Clemson transfer, would graduate 6 months later). My hub, the thoughtful man that he is, gave me the most extraordinary gift: he hired an artist to paint "our swing" in the Clemson Botanical Gardens. He had it matted and framed and presented it to me the day I graduated: May 9, 2003 (which just so happened to be his birthday). 

The next month, on June 15, 2003 (one day early from our one-year anniversary), he proposed to me at "our swing." I said, "Yes!"

Now, let's fast forward, 10 years and 1 week later. To this past Sunday, to be exact. My hub informed me two days prior to keep Sunday afternoon open because he had a surprise for me. Sunday, while our kids were napping, he ran some errands, refusing to tell me what they entailed. After returning home, he secretly packed up the car, including both dress clothes and pajamas for the kids, and told me I needed to put on something nice but comfortable. Hmpf. The ideas I had envisioned about what the surprise could be (White water rafting? An afternoon at Carowinds? A trip to a local ranch?) just didn't fit with the dress code. I was stumped.

But a little over two hours later, I would realize where we were going, as we pulled up to our alma mater, and more specifically, to the Botanical Gardens, and even more specifically, to the exact swing where we said "I love you" and were engaged. I would also learn that he had hired a professional photographer to come take some family photos, as well as photos of just the two of us, on our swing and around the gardens. 

I cannot begin to describe how special it was, sitting in our swing, with our little family. Seeing the two little loves of our lives, that we created, swinging alongside us and running around the gardens. It was awesome.

After the photo shoot, we drove around campus, reminiscing about our days at Clemson, before heading to Bowman Field, where my sweet hub promptly laid out a blanket and the picnic he had prepared, complete with wine, cheese, fruit, chicken, salmon, and bread. We munched on the goodies, sipped wine, and watched our babies run around the large field we used to walk across every day to go to class. Seeing all of it unfold was just so special.

As the sun began to set, we changed our babies into their pajamas and loaded everything back up before beginning the drive back home. It was an afternoon I will never forget.

This week, my hub and I will celebrate 9 years of marriage. He is, without about, my best decision, my best friend, my best life partner. 

He is my best yes. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Let's Hear it for the Girls

This week, Banks has been participating in his first ever Summer Camp! It is a half-day program, Monday through Friday, and he has been having an absolute blast (and has been taking good naps all week as a result...which are certainly becoming more of a rarity these days).

Each day the camp has a different theme, and Banks even came home with his first ever "pet" after the first day of camp, a worm he named "Haney" (What the??). He is very attentive to his pet, even giving me babysitting (err...worm-sitting) instructions when Papa Banks was off doing other, very important things (e.g., jumping on his mini-tramp; having races in the yard; you get the picture).

Banks also has been able to do arts and crafts, swim, play sports, eat snacks, and play, play, play. I think it's safe to say he's been having a great time! 

While I was a little sad to drop him off at his first big boy camp (sniff, sniff), I was also excited for what the week would hold. You see, my sweet, little 17-month-old Raleigh tends to get the short end of the stick when it comes to planned activities with my kids. She is often just along for the ride, and while she is still able to have fun wherever we go, the activities are typically geared toward more "big kid" fun since a certain preschooler tends to get priority when plans are being made. 

Not this week, though. No, not this week. This week was all about just enjoying time with my girl. 

Here's what my little sidekick and I have been up to this week:

We took at class at a local children's gym, which Raleigh absolutely L.O.V.E.D. If you know my Rals, you know that she is happiest when she is climbing up and down, up and down, up and down, over and over and over. So. You can just imagine that this little children's gym? Well, it was just a little slice o' heaven for my girl.

While I did manage to ignore the nagging "to do" list voice all week, who always seems to be a'beckoning, we did still need to hit up the grocery store in order to fill up little bellies this week. Although this is not an errand I particularly enjoy...ever..., it is much easier when there is one little tagalong, instead of two. Especially when that tagalong loves nothing more than to greet every grocery store patron with a wave and a "Hi!" while giving her cheesiest grins away left and right.

We also managed to squeeze in a jog or two throughout the week, although I'm pretty sure this little one enjoyed it more than I did, despite the position she tends to assume by the end of said jogs:

We also met some friends for a poolside playdate at a local pool. It was a great half-day of fun in the sun and splash, splash, splashin' away. And, I will say, I was able to relax a little more since I didn't have one eyeball zoned in on a certain preschooler and the other eyeball zoned in on a certain toddler. Nope. Two eyeballs on one little, bikini-clad body this time around.

Another day I took Raleigh to try out a new playground. Not surprisingly, she most enjoyed climbing up and down the stairs to the slide. Up and down. Up and down. Wash, rinse, repeat. We also enjoyed a nice picnic in the park, with lots of great conversation. :)

For our last Momma/Raleigh day, we'll probably be doing some of our most favorite things: Playing outside, reading good books, and catching up on the latest gossip. :)

Such a fun week with my little girl! Now, off for some laidback, no-plans-are-the-best-plans, weekend fun. Happy weekend to all!