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I’m 33: Happy Birthday to Me!

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In honor of my 33rd birthday, here are 33 things that I’d like to do/try before reaching 34 (God willing):

1.  Go on an adult vacation: Preferably an island–any island! I went to Cancun and had a nice time

2.  Have my baby boy potty trained: He will be 21 months then.

3.  Make time to pursue my hobbies

4.  Decide if I want to attend law school No, I’ll stick to the education industry.

5.  Find a place of worship

6.  Find a great, simple recipe for mac and cheese Thanks to Suzanne, half and half, and cooking creme

7.  A serious relationship: I am lonely

8.  Make a pink champagne cake Very rich and decadent!

9.  Start/finish my a scrapbook for my mother

10. Gain 10 pounds: In my opinion there is a such thing as being too thin

11.  Have a family vacation somewhere where there is a beach–Australia maybe

12.  Compliment/encourage someone at least once a day

13.  Pray more

14.  Keep a resilient attitude

15.  Read at least 10 good books that are not work related: The Help,

16.  Manage my time more efficiently

17. Stop and smell the roses

18.  Develop a plan for my debts

19.  Be grateful for the smALL things

20.  Consciously choose to forgive those who have hurt me

21.  Finish the Old Testament

22.  Take a class–likely pertaining to my career

23.  Cook whatever I want to eat

24.  Start an online business

25.  Organize the garage

26.  Create a formal will: Shame on me that I don’t have this done by now!

27.  Save more, spend less

28.  Stop using retail as therapy

29.  Exercise patience

30.  Stop taking everything to heart

31.  Laugh more: Sometimes I am such a wet blanket

32.  Be more creative with my wardrobe

33.  Spend twice as much more QUALITY time with my kids

Basket Case

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I like to use baskets around the house.  They are attractive, not to mention, they keep things in their place.  Here are a few ways I use them:

In the fridge

In the fridge

 

Holding photo albums

Holding photo albums

 

In the living room as a magazine holder

In the living room as a magazine holder

Very handy for keeping all of the items I need when getting ready

Very handy for keeping all of the items I need when getting ready

 

Laundry

Laundry

 

In the bedroom

In the bedroom

Pictures on the Wall

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Like Kweenmama, my home is my castle and I am the queen.  And the the objects that I chose to display reflect this.  Ethan’s comment about not being in vacation pictures was like an ephiphany.  Maybe part of the reason that Ethan has been so standoffish is because he does not feel welcomed in his home…

It has been been a huge adjustment  for everyone having an instantly larger family.  But maybe I haven’t been sensitive enough to the fact that it was probably a lot harder for Ethan and Evan to make the transition.  Especially considering the situation that landed them on our doorstep.  They had also lived with their uncle for two months prior to coming to our home.  Eliza was pretty much snatched away from them, even though it was by her own doing.

I had long ago taken down the old pictures of them that used to hang in our home.  After Eliza forbade my husband to see them and the court would not force her to do so, he could barely stand to look at their pictures without getting upset.

On the ride from Wisconsin I pondered over his comment.  If you walk through our house, photos of Nicholas can be found everywhere.  And I do mean everywhere, even in the bathroom and the kitchen!  My aunt affectionately refers to our house as “Nicholas’ Musuem.”

When the boys came to us, we quickly converted a spare room into their bedroom.  They were literally dropped off at our doorstep so we had no time to redocorate and of course, this extra room contained several pictures of Nicholas, too.  And it still does.  I had planned on getting around to making the room “theirs,” but the only thing I have managed to do is buy new bedding.

Out of the mouths of babes we can gain much wisdom.  I’ll admit that I don’t really want to rearrange my home because I like it the way it is.  But I know that I have to.  I looked around last night trying to decide what pictures of Nicholas to remove.  I couldn’t find a single one because I love them all.  I love the picture of him that graces the sofa table that was photographed in just the right light that highlights his chubby, cherubic toddler face.   And I am especially fond of the one I snapped of him lounging placidly on his toybox smiling perfectly for the camera.  I love the black and white photo in which he is grinning so impishly.  I could go on and on…

Most importantly I want Ethan and Evan to be able to look around and KNOW that they belong.  The house belongs to us all, just as I’ve come to understand that the kids, in a sense belong to us all–Eliza, my husband, and myself.    Despite the fact that I was not intentionally trying to exclude them from our family, that was the message being sent.  

 I think Ethan felt this way even more so than Evan.  At least his artwork is displayed prominently throughout the house.  But subconsciously I felt that Eliza was going to come whisk them away sooner or later–so why make any changes?  I remember how hurt my husband and I both felt when the court returned them to her three summers ago.  They left without a second thought and we did not see them again until Eliza was arrested. 

This afternoon I plan to stop by Michael’s and Hobby Lobby to get some picture frames and mats.  I have a little redecorating to do.