a DIY project: repurposing an easel

I decided to get all crafty this week & transformed a boring easel into something more fun. I'm normally not a huge DIYer but I blame this on nesting. I love how it turned out so I thought I would share! 

First things first. If you're new around these parts, you need to know one thing: I despise chalk.  I always tell people I have chalk phobia. Is that a real thing? Who knows...but if it is, sign me up. I think this whole "turn everything into a chalkboard" trend is absurd.  A chalkboard wall in my house? Sounds like a nightmat are. 

ANYWAY, back to my DIY project. I have been a busy girl turning our boring computer room into a downstairs play area for G lately. I found that cheap kitchen at Goodwill & then we bought him a table and chairs set for him to color at. But? It was still missing something. 

This little guy has been sitting in our garage since I hung up my teacher hat last May. One side has a white board & this side was a pitiful chalk board. I say pitiful because when G would try to draw on it with chalk, it didn't really show up. I decided that this would be perfect in our computer room if I spiced it up a little bit! I tweeted earlier in the week asking if there was such a thing as magnetic paint...sure enough, there is! 
I bought the Rust-Oleum magnetic primer at Lowes. You use this first & then you can paint over it with any latex paint! Warning: it has the weirdest consistency & I had to stir it forever to get it to mix.
This was after the 1st coat. It said to paint 2-3 coats to make it stronger. 
This is what it looked like once it dried. There was one spot that got crackly after the 3rd coat. Not sure if the paint was too thick or maybe humidity/extremely ridiculous Tennessee heat played a part in that? I will blame everything on the heat these days. 
A few hours later I went hunting through our old paint stash in the garage. We used to have a ton of bright walls in our house so I knew there had to be something left. Luckily, we had half a can of this fun green that used to be our family room. {sidenote: I can't believe this color used to be on four huge walls. yikes} I did one good coat of this paint & that was it. I didn't want to cover the magnetic paint too much. I love how this looks though! Perfect for a kid! 
...and here is the finished product after baking in the hot sun! I made some of those magnets and will need to replace them with stronger magnets. That will be my next project. Let it also be known that ONE hour after this was inside, G decided to take a brown crayon and color all over it. for the love. I need to buy stock in magic erasers.


living in the moment

Have you heard of She Reads Truth? I kept seeing a lot of twitter talk about it & decided to check it out. I am so glad I did.


I've been waking up about an hour before Grayson lately so I can have my coffee, sit in the quiet house, and spend some time with God.  This devotional has been speaking to me every single day. It's just what I need to start my day & get my mind right.  It's amazing how God meets you where you are when you make time for Him.

Once again, yesterday morning, I opened up my bible app (I'm so tech savvy) and it was like God was thumping me in the back of my head. It was all about not living in the moment & either thinking too far ahead or letting regret from the past take over. Anyone else guilty of that? I'll shamelessly raise my hand way high up in the air. I'm very guilty of this.

I don't think it's wallowing in regret that holds me back, but I definitely am always looking forward to the next "big thing" instead of just being thankful & appreciating the season of life I am in. When I was in college, I couldn't wait to marry Ben. As soon as we got married, baby fever struck. I couldn't wait to start a family.  I've always been a daydreamer like that & constantly look ahead to the future.

This hit me hard yesterday. The next big thing for our family is welcoming a new baby boy within the next 5 weeks or less. I mean, that's a big deal, right? Yes. However, I don't want the anxiety & excitement from that to take away from these last 5 weeks with just Grayson.

These are moments I will never get back. G will never be an only child again. I am SO excited to be able to give him a little brother that is so close in age, but I also want to soak up these moments when it's just the 3 of us.

So, here's to the next 5 weeks & really focusing on the now and not the oh-my-gosh-it's-almost-here!


So What! Wednesday

This week I am saying SO WHAT if...

  • I complain regularly about this ridiculous heat wave we are having?! I mean, triple digit heat + insane southern humidity for the next FIVE DAYS. I thought I would get lucky this pregnancy because I was skipping the August heat...nope, it's happening in June. Just my luck. 
  • I almost always forget to brush G's teeth in the morning? We always brush them at night but for some reason I can't for the life of me remember to brush them in the morning. 
  • I didn't realize it was Wednesday until about 7:45 this morning? oops. 
  • I ate about 20 pounds of double doozie cookie cake this week? 
  • I'm already starting to collect things for Grayson's 2nd birthday party? I know my brain will not be fully functioning after Griffin is born.  I need to use these brain cells while I still have them. 
  • the whole hospital stay post-baby STRESSES ME OUT? Having a child already makes things so much more complicated.  I mean, G can't exactly stay at the house by himself. Not to mention, I am freaking out about being away from him for so long.
  • I'm already thinking of my dinner choices tomorrow night at Chuy's? 
  • my dog is now on Xanax? He literally needed a chill pill. 
Now it's your turn! Go link up with Shannon for SWW!


make new friends {a blog commenting challenge}

I never participate in blog challenges but I thought Jenna's sounded fun! 

 I've been wanting to spice up my Google reader for a while now & this sounds like a fun way to find new reads! 

Todays Topic {okay, I'm a day late to starting, so technically this was the topic yesterday}:

Tell us about YOU! What's your name? Where do you live? Who lives with you? Do you work outside the home? Have kids? Pets? (Psst! Don't spill the beans about your blog or hobbies quite yet!).
Hey y'all! I'm Laura. I'm an Atlanta raised, Mississippi educated girl living outside of Nashville! I'm the 27 year old wife to Ben & a stay at home mama. Ben & I met in college at Ole Miss (hotty toddy!) & have been married since July 19, 2008. He's my best friend! 
Grayson is our little blonde-headed bundle of energy. He will be 2 in September & is a busy boy! In my former life I was a first grade teacher, but, for now I am staying home with G. He is ALL boy and loves trucks, trains, animals, and dirt. 
I'm also currently pregnant with our 2nd baby boy, Griffin! VERY pregnant...as in, Griffin will be here in less than 5 weeks! Our boys will be 22 months apart & I can't wait to be a "boy mom!"
 As if life weren't crazy enough, we also have THREE dogs. These were our first babies & they are all spoiled rotten! Jack, the eldest, is my chihuahua from the early college years & thinks he rules the house. Hudson was a stray that we rescued our senior year at Ole Miss & is pretty much the sweetest dog ever. Ellie was an unplanned rescue from PetSmart & is our wild child.
That about sums me up in a blog post! Thanks for stopping by!


34 weeks with Griffin

*How far along?: 34 weeks
*How big is your baby?: a pineapple. Basically, he's big. and heavy. 
*Total weight gain?: 20 pounds 
*Sex: boy!
*Maternity clothes: bah humbug. I'm so sick of my wardrobe! I am dreaming of cute clothes that {maybe} I can wear again in August!
*Stretch marks: not yet & crossing my fingers it stays that way!
 *Movement: I feel like this week Griffin has morphed into a River Dancer and my bladder is his stage. I feel him almost constantly. I don't know if he is head down or what, but there is something up near my ribcage that pokes through & something that is attacking my bladder. The boy is strong.
*Sleep: I'm uncomfortable at night because it is so dang hot here AND as soon as I lay down it feels like an elephant is sitting on my lungs. Also? Bathroom breaks about 3 times a night. 
*Symptoms: nothing new...hallelujah! 
*Best moment this week: Bought a few baby necessities that Griffin will need & we finally have a small table for G in our computer room! Oh, and I celebrated my birthday:)
*Food cravings: ice cold water and fresh fruit!
*Labor signs: mostly pressure...I feel like he is lower
*Belly button in or out: it's out and proud.
*What I miss: I told Ben last night that I am getting so jealous of people on Instagram posting pictures of their yummy summer drinks...Blue Moon with an orange slice, skinnygirl margs, mojitos. They all sound good!
*What I'm looking forward to: Going to the doctor on Thursday, hearing that sweet heartbeat, and seeing if I can get the complete lowdown on what all will happen on Baby Day! 



Today I turn 27.  I'm sitting here before G wakes up celebrating with a cup of that amazing coconut mocha coffee and a big ol' piece of double doozie birthday cake. Don't judge! 

It's crazy to think that now I am closer to 30 than I am to 20. I remember being in middle school & high school and thinking the college kids on Real World were SO OLD because they were 20.  Wow, fast forward & here I am...sadly, too old to be on Real World.

The past 27 years have been great but I can't help but think they will just continue to get better. 27 will be a big year for me. I will welcome another baby boy into this world & we will be a family of four.  I can't really top that! 

Just for your enjoyment, here's a little throwback to the 80s.  Toddler Laura on her 2nd birthday...wearing a smocked bishop of course. Hey, my mom has good taste in baby clothes!
Happy Saturday! If you don't hear from me next week it's probably because I am in a double doozie food coma!


life through instagram

 Griffin has a few monogrammed things but these are his first burp cloths. I love them!! My friend, Margie, got them for baby Griffin. It's so fun seeing his name on things!
 I was switching out my diaper bag for the trusty ol' Michael Kors before I went to Memphis. Guess what was in my purse? My favorite earrings that I thought I lost forever ago. Happy ds. ay!
 G got his 5th haircut recently. That seems crazy. How has he already had 5 haircuts?! This is only the 2nd time I have been happy with the results. I don't like getting his haircut even when he desperately needs it because I swear it ages him by a 2 years! My baby turned into a 4 year old in 5 minutes.
 Newest fun thing to do: throw the ball "up high!"
 Some of the elementary school girls set up a glitter tattoo stand last week. They rang our door bell & asked if G was home (which cracked me up) and then asked if he would like to come to their tattoo stand. Of course he did! G got inked with blue glitter. It's still there. He pitches a fit if I try & scrub it off!
 The other afternoon I was waiting on Grayson to come in the backyard. I kept calling his name & heard nothing. I walked in to the living room to find this sweet face. He was hiding. And obviously by hiding I mean he was standing VERY still against this wall. He cracks me up!
This dog? Oy. He swears he is a human and/or King of our house. He perches on our pillows while we get ready for bed & then gets SO angry when we move him to lay down. Such a prince.
 Remember what happened in February? Um, yeah. This is how it happened. Apparently G has no recollection of running on the couch, falling off, & breaking his arm. The mama does though. He keeps me on my toes!
 Keurig users: please do yourself a favor and go find this coffee immediately. It is SO good! My kitchen smells like an almond joy while it is brewing & it just tastes like a summer cup of coffee. Yum!


So What! Wednesday

It's that time of the week again!  This week I am saying SO WHAT if...

  •  I had to mute Teresa arguing with Jacqueline on RHONJ this week? Yapping dogs. That's what they sound like. Makes my ears hurt. 
  • I have to bribe my kid to lay down on his changing pad by telling him he can bring a football with him? or a train? or a truck?
  • Ben's tailgating chair is STILL set up in the garage for me to park my pregnant self in the shade while G runs around the front yard?
  • sometimes I feel like I live meal to meal? You know, when all you can think about is the next yummy thing you will eat. I blame the growing boy in my belly. 
  • I placed the order for my own double doozie birthday cake? and now maybe I am counting down the days until I get to eat it. {TWO.}

Go link up with Shannon @ L.A.I.D


G is 21 months old!

Grayson is 21 months old today! 
The stats:
Weight: 22.6 pounds (I weighed him at the vet last week--haha!)
Height: 33ish inches
Diaper: 4 during the day & 5 at night
Clothes: 12 month shorts; 18m & 24m shirts and jon jons
Shoe: 6
Grayson is learning new words pretty much every day. It is crazy! I was so stressed after his 18 month appointment when the doctor said he really wanted him talking more. Now we can't make him stop talking! Here are his newest words:
Huddle (Hudson)
Eela (Ellie)
Bops (Pops)
BaBa (Poppy)
one, two, three
I love you--my favorite! 
What's been going on:
  • Grayson still LOVES trucks. He wants to read his truck book every night & loves to watch truck videos on YouTube when we are inside. He will bring us the iPad and say "truck! honk honk!" 
  • G is fascinated with everyone's eyes. He loves pointing them out on people and animals! 
  • We just started the transition to sleeping without a sleep sack. We are starting with naps first & so far, so good! I'm trying to prepare him for MDO in the fall when he will be sleeping on a nap mat with a blanket. 
  • Grayson is finally starting to branch out more with food. He loves pizza & has been eating a bigger variety of fresh fruit. His favorites right now are peaches and strawberries. Still no veggies, but we will get there eventually! 
  • G would spend the entire day outside if I let him. We spend hours in the front or backyard every single day. He loves playing with his football or basketball, go down his slide, play with his trucks in the sand, splash in the water table, or push his mower. He likes going to the pool but doesn't like being all the way in the water. He prefers hanging out in the baby pool! 
  • We've been going to toddler story time at the library every week & he has gotten better about sitting still and listening. His favorite part of story time is the the shakers at the end. The boy loves music! 
I feel like Grayson is such a big boy now. He can communicate so much better now & tells us what he wants/doesn't want! It's hard to believe how close he is to turning 2 AND how close he is to being a big brother! I am getting really sentimental now that his "only child" time is coming to an end...I am soaking up all the Grayson time I can! 

Happy 21 months, G! 


33 weeks with Griffin

First of all, notice anything different around these parts?? The little ol' blog got a makeover! I love it! If you're in reader, you need to hop on out of there so you can see the facelift! If you need a new design, please go talk to Leslie! This is the 3rd time she has done my blog & she is so easy to work with AND affordable:) Okay..shameless plug is done!

*How far along?: 33 weeks 1 day
*How big is your baby?: a honeydew melon. that seems large.
*Total weight gain?: 20 pounds total. At this point with Grayson I had gained 15 total...hmph.
*Sex: boy!
*Maternity clothes: I can't wait to wear skinny clothes again. CAN'T WAIT.
*Stretch marks: not yet & crossing my fingers it stays that way!
 *Movement: Griffin has decided to get in some weird positions lately. Last night it literally looked like an alien was in my stomach; it got all pointy--weird! His movements are really strong & are starting to get uncomfortable.
*Sleep: I'm pretty uncomfortable & have to wake up to go to the bathroom a couple times. That's what drinking a gallon+ of water a day will do to you!  
*Symptoms: I'm still short of breath all the time & feel so much pressure down there. Grayson was literally stuck in my ribs until they surgically removed him...I never felt like he was going to fall out of me. This is all new.
*Best moment this week: Seeing friends at Margie's baby shower & spending all day Sunday with my boys!
*Food cravings: ice cold water and fresh fruit!
*Labor signs: pressure and BH contrctions
*Belly button in or out: it's out and proud.
*What I miss: a bra that doesn't hurt, skinny clothes, wine.
*What I'm looking forward to: well, I need to work in the nursery. I am not motivated at all. We need a glider, Griffin's name needs to be hung up, clothes need to be put away...yikes! I am getting SO EXCITED to meet this baby boy & see what he looks like! I blame that on Lynsey who just had sweet Caroline and AP who is literally welcoming Maclane into the world at any second. All these 2nd babies are getting me excited about my own!


weekend update

This weekend went by WAY too fast! 

I spent Saturday in Memphis at a baby shower. Is it wrong that I was really excited to drive alone & be able to listen to my music?? I love my little guy, but I'm kind of tired of listening to The Lion King in the car.  
One of my best friends from high school, Margie, came up from Louisiana so we could celebrate baby Jewel! She may be the cutest pregnant girl I have ever seen.
Margie and I ventured off to Ole Miss together in the fall of 2003 (see our cute dorm room?), been bridesmaids for one another, & now both have a baby on the way!
It was so fun seeing girls that I haven't seen in a long time & celebrate the sweet baby girl on the way! I can't wait to see baby Jewel when she makes her appearance in early September! 
Ben & G stayed behind in Nashville and had a fun day. What does daddy do while mama is away? Well, he buys trucks. Yep. That's plural. Ben got himself a little early Father's Day present when he traded in the ol' Pathfinder for a truck AND Grayson got a new excavator. All is right in the world...both my boys have trucks! 
Grayson woke up his daddy this morning with cards & presents--Ben got tickets to The Sounds baseball game in 2 weeks! I'm pretty sure Grayson will LOVE a real baseball game! We've had a great day just spending time together. Ben works every other weekend so we soak up the ones that he has off! 
 Grayson adores his daddy & I'm pretty sure the feeling is mutual. Grayson is a lucky boy!


So What! Wednesday

This week I am saying SO WHAT if...

  • I've turned into the mom that wears comfy clothes instead of "real" clothes about 96% of the time? 
  • I sat in Ben's tailgating chair in the shady garage while G ran around in the driveway playing? Some may call that lazy; I call it genius. 
  • I had a huge bowl of cheerios as a snack this afternoon? 
  • my hair hasn't seen a blow dryer in about a week?
  • I cried big, fat crocodile tears when we finished Hatfields & McCoys earlier this week? I'm already hormonal and that ending just pushed me over the edge. 
  • I stalk the baby birds in my backyard? STALK. I feel like their second mama. 
  • I think Teen Mom is a complete trainwreck but I CAN'T LOOK AWAY? I want to adopt Leah. 
  • I obsessively check my roses outside for those dang japanese beetles at least 5 times a day? Those things have ruined my flowers and it makes me angry. I've pretty much started a war in my yard with tiny bugs. That's normal, right?
Don't forget to link up with Shannon @ L.A.I.D for So What Wednesday! 


G's big(ger) boy room

Grayson's new bedroom is finally complete! We have been scouring Craigslist, yard sales, & antique stores for a bookshelf to go in his room & finally found one we love on Saturday! Made for a happy mama. I don't like incomplete projects. 

We decided to make G's new bedroom a room that can transition from toddler to boy.  The nursery was fun for me to plan because I could choose things that I love. But? This new room was more fun. I loved finding things that I knew Grayson would love for his bedroom. If you've read this blog for at least 1 week, you know that his first love is trucks. I'm not big into theme-y rooms but we knew it had to have some trucks! So, here is the old guest room:
Very dark. Blah. Here is G's new bedroom:

We painted the room a light khaki and it brightened it up SO much. I love it! We moved Grayson's crib to this room and it will eventually convert to a toddler bed & then full bed. I wanted to keep him in his same routine as much as possible! I know that he might be okay in a real bed {please note that I say "might" very loosely because make no mistake, G is a wild man}, but I fully believe in keeping toddlers caged for as long as possible. That's right, I said "caged." 
Griffin got to keep the nursery bedding so Grayson needed something new. My friend, Lynsey, came to my rescue when she sold me her son's never-been-used Serena & Lily bumper! I made the monogrammed canvas that is above the bed. It was so easy! Sammy found a new home on G's man chair & those navy blue window panels are from Target. 
We moved the glider in here until he gets in a real bed & are buying a new one for Griffin's nursery. The big brother frame is from my favorite local children's clothing boutique & it was how I told Ben we were having another baby! Still waiting on a picture for that:) The truck lamp is one of G's favorite things in the room. He loves it!
....and there is the new bookshelf! Handmade locally & already distressed. Perfect! We still don't have everything on it; it is a work in progress! The little red bucket on the floor is where we keep our library books. I'm so happy to have a shelf for the rest now! 
Those 4 prints are my favorite thing in the whole room. I got them from an etsy seller & bought the frames from Hobby Lobby. I love them! Best part? They match the big boy PBK bedding he will eventually use!
Those 2 tractors are from Hobby Lobby & the bulldozer is actually an antique Tonka truck that Ben scored on eBay. I've trained him well! Don't worry, we also have an antique Tonka forklift on its way. Grayson is pretty obsessed with his dozer! 
This is on top of his chest of drawers. G's closet is to the left & the bathroom is on the right. Why the small system? Oh, you know, because G requires classical music AND a sound machine while sleeping. This began at 4 months old & worked like a charm so I wouldn't dare take it away now! When we first got the canvas that is hanging, he carried it around the house. No lie. He loves it! 

So, there you have it. My big boy has a new bedroom! I love how it turned out & I love that Grayson enjoys being in there. Now I need to get started on getting the nursery ready...again!

Lamp & canvas -- Target (neither are on the website but here is a similar canvas)
Bookshelf -- Rooster Tails (a local store with AWESOME things...locals, check it out!)
4 truck prints -- this cute etsy shop...she was great to work with & I got the prints super fast!


32 weeks with Griffin

*How far along?: 32 weeks -- 8 months!
*How big is your baby?: head of lettuce...about 4 pounds now!
*Total weight gain?: 17 pounds as of my last visit...I go back on Friday & will revisit the dreaded scale!
*Sex: boy!
*Maternity clothes: I have turned into the mom that wears my running shorts (ha! I've never been running!) & either tank tops or Ben's t-shirts every single day. It's almost too hot for clothes, but I think I would offend people if I adopted that motto.
*Stretch marks: not yet & crossing my fingers it stays that way!
 *Movement: Griffin is getting SO strong! I've been able to see the movements for a long time, but now the movement is slowing down and you can see his little body parts moving around. He is still moving the most at night. According to my phone, he has already kind of figured out his sleeping schedule...soooo, that should be fun.
*Sleep: Benadryl helps a little but I am just so uncomfortable that I wake up all night long.  
*Symptoms: y'all, I really can't breathe. I was just telling Ben how terrible it is to feel like I can never fully catch my breath...even when I am just sitting down! It feels like I have a cinder block laying on my lungs 24/7. I'll be happy when that goes away!
*Best moment this week: Grayson's room is COMPLETE! We found an awesome bookshelf yesterday & now everything is in there. I love it!
*Food cravings: water, water, water. I swear the more I drink, the more I want. That's a good thing!
*Labor signs: just some BH contractions
*Belly button in or out: it's out and proud.
*What I miss: on these really hot nights? a Blue Moon. 
*What I'm looking forward to: putting away the baby clothes that are currently being washed. I found ALL of G's precious newborn outfits that he never got to wear. I'm kind of hoping that Griffin will be a teensy bit smaller so that these cute clothes can at least be worn once!