Monday, February 20, 2012

the gift of the magi.

have you ever read that story... i think it's called the gift of the magi? it's about a young couple with very little money, both struggling to buy something for their significant other. the woman has beautiful hair, it's like her "thing." the man has a treasured watch that he polishes, adores and prides himself on owning. and because of their undying love for each other (or because they fear the wrath of the other if they don't buy the perfect xmas gift), the woman cuts off her beautiful hair in order to buy an expensive chain for her husband's watch. and the man sells his beloved watch to buy some expensive clips for his wife's beautiful tresses. and so, as they open their gifts, they are confronted with an EPIC catch 22. or maybe that's the definition of ironic. or maybe it's just the way the cookie crumbles, as they say.

anyway, i have found myself confronted with a very real catch 22. my dear sweet husband gifted me the complete series of HBO's "the wire" on dvd for valentine's day. and a show about drugs, corruption and violence was the perfect gift for me because, you see, i love that show. it is amazing. i watched the entire series when i was on maternity leave, and i may or may not have spent the entirety of a few a lot of my days watching the goings-on in the projects of baltimore. so anyway, back to the catch 22. i finally own "the wire," and i'm too damn busy to watch it.

i have been stretched a tad bit thin lately. for some reason, i decided to schedule all these hearings, deadlines and a bitterly contested custody modification trial for the final two weeks of february. i have no earthly idea how i thought this was a good idea. i don't know how i thought i was going to be able to spend 98% of my time lawyering, and then cut up the remaining 2% into being a good mom, wife, HBO series enthusiast. anyway, i'm sort of surviving. with a lot of coffee, very little sleep and by repeating "this too shall pass. this too shall pass." over and over and over again.

because of the fact that i have been trying to pretend that i'm some superhero with the enviable power of adding more hours to the day, i've been trying to soak up any time i can with my son, which is not, i suppose, very different from my normal schtick. but when things get going, you do have to cut stuff out, and inevitably for me, i end up cutting out showering and craft time. which is unfortunate. because when you're stressed, you should definitely be washing yourself daily and making sure to release your stress into your creative outlets. i feel much calmer and collected after using my sewing machine or completing some pinterest-inspired task on my never-ending "JOHN, WE NEED TO DO THIS TO OUR HOUSE!" list. the old cliche is true, there just aren't enough hours in the day.

but anyway, lately, i have been completing only those crafts/projects/etc. that can be done quickly and with jack's "assistance." here's what my little sidekick and i have been up to:

we FINALLY completed the third of the rescue mission thrift store chair makeovers (here's part I and part II). this was just a simple $5 chair; nothing too extraordinary, but i decided it was a perfect chair for my sewing table.

the seat was covered in a tablecloth-y vinyl with a horrid floral print. i don't know if it was years of grime that turned it a weird off-white-dirty-brown-with-pinkish-red flowers, but it needed a slight update.

jack brought his tools upstairs and helped me unscrew the top.

and, the AFTER. the perfect place to read "brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?" for the 14th time.

i have to admit: i have a slight problem throwing things away. not just anything, mind you. i am skilled in the art of picking through john's t-shirts and deciding which ones belong in the bottom of our trash can, and i can peruse boxes of old home decor, furnishings and unused kitchen items and donate them to goodwill without a second thought. i am, by no means, a hoarder. except when it comes to christmas cards, birth announcements and the like. a thank you card that someone wrote me four years ago? it's saved in a box somewhere because it doesn't feel right throwing it away. my mother-in-law's christmas card circa 2009? i've got that organized with other precious pieces of mail in that box right over there. it doesn't feel appropriate to me to take people's prized family photos that they painstakingly turned into a holiday greeting card and throw it away. i know, i know, who keeps everyone's christmas cards for years to come? we definitely do not have the space for me to keep up this little habit, but i have not yet been forced to make a change.

until the other day when i was in our upstairs storage space and realized i have not one, not two, not even three or four, but no less than seven separate boxes dedicated to storing cards. i realized i may have a slight problem letting go. so jack and i were off to hobby lobby to rectify the situation.

half off rustic barn frame + some twine and some hot glue = a nice way to display announcements, thank you cards and recent pictures. and once they've spent an appropriate amount of time up on the wall of fame, i can feel better about lovingly placing them in the garbage can. (oh, who am i kidding? i am not going to throw them away, but i will hand them to john and ask him to dispose of them.)

the pictures are hanging with miniature clothespins that i, or should i say, we used apple cider and steel wool to age to match the barnwood. yes, it works - but you should wear gloves.

for our final trick, we decided, over a shared snack of goldfish and valentine's day candy corn, while wandering the clearance aisle at hobby lobby, that we would give jack's dresser a little upgrade. we found some new knobs for 40 cents each and brought them home. while i switched the knobs, jack assisted by rearranging the contents of each drawer.

aren't these little knobs the cutest?

we thought so!


  1. wow, we a big fan of "Brown Bear" here! It is all Baileigh wants to read! Too funny! (Cute chair re-do as well!)

    1. I have it memorized. Jack looks at me weird if I start reading the next page before I turn it, and I remember that I'm supposed to be READING it. Haha.

  2. I've been wanting to do a similar frame are inspiring me to do it this weekend since I have few plans! I am attempting to do one thing a weekend and that includes Kevin's projects too. Love it when he does something that I can count and gets me off the hook...hehe! Anyways, you show that the little things make a big your cute little dresser knobs! Although I don't think the chair remodel is a "little" project. It's adorable by the way....

    And remember, there's only 8 more days of February left:) This too shall pass!

  3. Awww thank you! Good luck with the frame project. Can't wait to see the finished product! :)

  4. Love the new knobs! We have an drawer in our kitchen completely stuffed with old Christmas cards, save the dates, thank yous, and birth announcements, you are not alone in the hoarding of these. I also love that Johanna's birth announcement is now prominently displayed in your frame!

    1. Of course! She's such a doll, and we were so glad to finally meet her this weekend! xoxo