Friday, August 30, 2019

My "Exciting" Labor Day Weekend Project of 2018

My mission for Labor Day weekend last year was to get the books organized onto our massive bookshelf in the family room. It was a big project that took all day, but it was so worth it!

When we moved in and unpacked two months earlier, we just stacked books randomly on the shelves so that they were out of the way. So my first step was to remove all of the books from the shelves. As I did that, I grouped them by genre because that's how I organize and shelve our books.

Success! The shelves were empty and the books were stacked in groups all over the floor.

Our non-fiction books and literary classics get shelved on the "fancy bookshelf." Our "fun" fiction books, like my historical fictions and mysteries (among many others) and Peter's fantasy and science fiction, are shelved elsewhere (more on that in a minute).  

Just look at that beautiful clean bookshelf, waiting for its shelves to be filled with knowledge and wisdom and adventure!

The above pictures were taken in the morning. The pictures below were taken in the evening when I had finally finished. This literally took me all day. I was so glad to get it done! The visual effect was very rewarding and pleasing, and my sense of calm and order was restored! At least as far as this bookshelf was concerned. 

I like to mix in various knick-knacks and decorative objects with books.

Two items still on the to-do list after a year: I still need to get the recessed lighting working in the shelf, and I should also get the shelf attached to the wall for safety. 

😍 Happiness 😍

This isn't a very good picture because I snapped it quickly with my phone for the purpose of adding to a comment on my Facebook post about this project. But these are our "fun" books in the office. I did this project in July and it took me several days of painstaking methodical work (that I secretly enjoy).
(The fourth shelf down on the right side looks better now than it did in this picture because I've since gotten that nice and organized. It was still kind of a mess at that point.)

Two of our old IKEA bookshelves are in the basement rec room. One of them is filled with more of Peter's books and the other one is half-full of more non-fictions and my blog books.

The good news as far as space goes is that Peter rarely buys actual books anymore. Because he travels so much, he buys the digital version of almost all new books that he now gets.

I'm a traditionalist and am loyal to the actual book, so my collection continues to grow. But I'm using the library more often and giving away books that don't mean very much to me, and instituting periodic book-buying bans until I read more of what I already have (as much as it grieves me to do so!).

My dream has always been to have an actual library room with shelves lining all of the walls that give plenty of space for books galore. But I'm pretty happy with what I've got right now. 😊📚

Thursday, August 29, 2019

September Sunset

There was a Sunday evening last September when the sky at sunset was so pretty! I got my camera and hurried outside to take these pictures from the front porch.

I like this one because you can see the blue sky of night encroaching...
...but the sun isn't quite done with her show yet.

The sunlit stripes remind me of the spokes on a wheel.

Boo Boo was enjoying the show as well!

So was Violet, from inside the front door. I like how you can see the sunset's reflection in the windows and the glow of it on the white siding around the door.

I guess Iowa doesn't have a monopoly on beautiful sunsets after all! 

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Birthday Aftermath

Sam went right to work assembling the things he got for his birthday that could be assembled!

There was this K'nex roller coaster...

...and a Lego pirate roller coaster set.

Done! It works!

It was the centerpiece of the dining room table for a few weeks. Quelle elegance! (Yes, I had to google how to say "How elegant" in French, but I do know on my own that it's "Que elegante" en espanol! But I digress.) 

Also for Sam's birthday, he wanted to go to Six Flags New England, so that's what the four of us did on a Saturday in late September.

The boys are up there somewhere on that crazy spinning swinging thing! The spinning would make me so nauseated and sick. 🤮

It went really high!

This is the Superman rollercoaster that Sam had been looking forward to going on but it turned out that he was still just a hair too short! So I gladly stayed behind with him while John and Peter rode it.

As you can see, the park was gearing up for Halloween. 😱

It really was a fun and special month for Sam!

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Sam's 9th Birthday

Last September Sam turned 9, his last year in the single digits!

He was (and still is) really into roller coasters. My cousin Becky made this awesome roller coaster cake for his party (we had a pool party at our house with my family and Peter's). 

Unbeknownst to me, Becky searched my photos on Facebook and found this one of Sam on a roller coaster and used it for the cake. What a great touch!

The back of the cake. I was so impressed by all of the attention to detail! This was such a great cake.

Sam loves presents!

Here was Sam on his actual birthday. He got this cute (owl-themed!) crown at school. 
 (That stuff under his nose is a mysterious case of impetigo that he picked up somewhere!) 

He opened his big present from us that evening -- a Nintendo Switch!

How cute is he?

Looking back on the past year, I can say that 9 was a good year for Sam. He grew a lot, physically, emotionally, and intellectually. The move to Massachusetts from Iowa wasn't an easy one for him and he handled it well. I love my little Sam-man so much and I'm so thankful for him. Being his mother is one of the greatest blessings in my life. 💗

Monday, August 26, 2019

September 2018 Randoms

Random things from last September...

This was the state of the family room. It was all set up and organized and I had just embarked on hanging pictures up around the house. I kept them lined up below the window until I figured out where (or where not) to hang them. I hadn't been wanting to do this because it's a pain but I was glad to finally get it done.

I had to decide what to hang on the wall above the couch. It's kind of a tricky spot with that stairwell going up.

I decided on a family-themed wall. I don't love it but I like it and that's good enough! 
("Perfect is the enemy of done" is something I tell myself often.)

I watched the hearings for Brett Kavanaugh while I worked and they made me mad! I didn't like how the Democrats handled the whole situation and how they treated him, so I handled my frustration in a healthy way and made a sort of generous donation to the Repulican party on Kavanaugh's behalf. 🤑
I'm glad he got confirmed!

We got a foosball table for the basement. I had to hire a handyman to put it together since Peter isn't home very much and it was way beyond my already-limited abilities for putting things together.  

It's fun! We used it a lot the first day or so and then we didn't much anymore. We need to do something about that. It's great for when we have family/friend parties or when the boys have friends over (when I can get them all off Fortnite, that is). 

Here's Niki Taylor living my dream in the Cotswolds of England.

I liked this catalog cover too.

 That's an art that I think I have down pretty well. 📚😊

Friday, August 23, 2019

Who Rules the World? Dogs.

It's a rare feat to get all three pets in the same photo!

My little lady Violet likes to take long naps on the couch. I do too, come to think of it. 
She's allowed on the leather couches in the house, but not the microfiber ones. She doesn't rule the world THAT much.

I often come home to her waiting for me here. 

This is Boo Boo's favorite spot. He looks regal here, like he's looking down from his throne.

 Sometimes he humbles himself and lays by the front door instead.

A house just doesn't feel like home to me without the dogs. (And cat. Meow!)