Saw It. Pinned It. Did It: Diaper Box Makeover


I have to be honest and tell you that I do a lot more pinning that I do actual completion of projects. But this one was an easy one and I already had the materials on hand, so I just couldn't resist.

Here are a few of the original pins. You'll see that they each use a different method. Some sewed their covers and liners, while others just used a hot glue gun.

I needed a litle bit of extra storage on my shelves in my laundry room and I happened to have a few diaper boxes lying around. 

I didn't feel like they were sturdy enough to spend the time sewing covers, so I decided to go with the hot glue gun method. I already had some red bins leftover from my teaching days and they are currently holding all of the fun miscellaneous stuff in our laundry room. I decided to continue with the theme and used a black chevron fabric with red ribbon.
I think it turned out pretty cute and it's perfect for what I needed it for. I ended up just leaving the flaps and tucking them in instead of  cutting them off with a box cutter like they do in the tutorial. I glued the fabric onto the flaps and then tucked it under. It's not the prettiest on the inside but no one will be seeing the inside so I don't think it's a big deal.

And here is what it looks like in it's new home:
 Now I just need some cute chalkboard labels for my red bins and I will be all set!

I wouldn't recommend this project if you are planning on using the boxes every day because I just don't think they would be sturdy enough unless you reinforce them. Mine will be sitting up on the shelf most of the time so I think it will serve it's purpose well.

If you are looking for an easy project that only takes about 30 minutes, this is definitely the project for you. You don't need a lot of materials and it's super easy.
I actually have two more boxes that I plan to cover but I just haven't gotten around to them yet. I'm still recovering from the glue gun burns I got the first time around...

A Fitness Update


Back in November I talked about doing Jillian Michael's Body Revolution.

 I realized a few days ago that I never gave an update, so here goes:

I finished Body Revolution in January and I have to say that it is one of my favorite workout programs that I have ever done. I've relied on workout videos for about 8 years now and I own tons of different workouts. From The Firm to Chalean Extreme- you name it, I've probably tried it.

When I first started Body Revolution I was a bit skeptical because the workouts are only about 30 minutes long. I honestly didn't think I could get any results from working out just 30 minutes a day. However as I went through the each workout I realized that they start getting pretty hard and that you can really get an amazing workout in just 30 minutes.  I usually hate doing ab work but Jillian incorporates lots of planks and pushups and I swear they are more effective than crunches.

By the time I was done, I felt leaner and more muscular than I have in a long time. I was pretty amazed at my results and so proud that I stuck with the program for 90 days. I didn't follow the diet plan that is included with the program but I did eat pretty well for the most part. I also didn't always do the cardio because some days I felt like doing something else.

Of course, as you know, we moved in early February. While I did my best to continue working out during our transition, I have to admit that I didn't really stick to a routine. I only worked out 9 times in February. By the time we headed to California, I already could tell a difference in my body. I only gained a pound or two, but I definitely didn't feel as fit! The program does work, but only if you use it and actually stick to the schedule. I knew that once we arrived my workouts would be sporadic for a while due to settling in and lack of equipment. However, I did pick up a little piece of motivation:

I haven't bought a new bathing suit since before Emerson was born, so I thought this would be the perfect motivation to get my rear back in gear. :)

I've decided to do Body Revolution again until I find another program that I want to do. I started with Workouts 3 and 4 this time and this week I moved up to Workouts 5 and 6. I made a promise to myself that I would get up when Jesse does and go ahead and get my workouts over with. So far, I've been getting in about 4 workouts a week. While this is definitely an improvement, it's still not enough! Body Revolution requires 6 days a week so I've got to step it up or that bikini will NOT get any use this summer. :)

I'd also love to add in some running but until our jogging stroller gets here, it's not really an option. I really haven't been doing quite as much cardio as I'd like. I've been working out in our living room and all that jumping around is pretty loud. I doubt my neighbors appreciate it at 5:30 in the morning. So, I think we're going to make a workout area in the garage so that I can jump to my heart's content without it sounding like an elephant stampede. 

And that's where I am fitness wise. I am the first to admit that I'm just doing the bare minimum right now, but I guess it's better than nothing! 

You may remember that one of my goals for 2013 is to complete 225 workouts. So far I've only done 37. That means I have to workout at least 20 times a month for the rest of the year to meet my goal! Feel free to follow my progress here. And if any of you have any other workout programs/videos that you recommend, please share! It's not likely that I'll be making it to the gym very often, so home workouts will be it for me!

Weekend Fun


I'm so sad that the weekend is already over. We had such a great one, but it went by way too fast. Here's a little bit of what we did:

Emerson and I hit up the library for story time.

Then we headed over to the park to play.

We finished our morning with a little picnic and duck feeding.
That night we made a family trip to Costco. It's a dangerous thing to do when you're hungry. We definitely stocked up.
Jesse and I decided we wanted to get out and do something but we didn't feel like going back into the city so we decided to head to an old mining town about an hour away. The drive was pretty intense with lots of curvy mountain roads.
Once we made it we decided that we needed to eat. We stopped a barbecue place and it did not disappoint.

There were tons of cute boutiques and antique stores but I'm sure most of you know how that goes with a toddler. She just wanted to walk and look around so we only went in one store for a second.
We did, however, take a ride in the horse drawn carriage. It was a 15 minute tour of the town and it was really interesting. Jesse stayed back with the stroller so he became our photographer.
 Emerson was SO excited! She kept talking about riding the horse and saying his name over and over (Billy!)

And since the town is known as the apple pie capital, we had to get a piece. It was AMAZING! I really wanted to buy a whole pie but I knew that I would end up eating it all so I refrained.

 A mouth full of pie:
When we got home, Emerson had a special package waiting from Mimi and Pa. She was thrilled!! Thank you Mimi and Pa!

We got up early and got ready because we were determined to make it to the early service at church. After scrambling around and getting ready in super quick mode, I looked up the service times and realized that it started at 9:00 and not 9:30. Ooops! So we just hung out at home, read the newspaper, and played until it was time for the late service.
Emerson did great in the nursery again and I really enjoyed the service. I'm still not quite sure if we have found our church home but we will definitely be returning.

We ate lunch at Rubio's (YUM!) and then headed home for Emerson's nap. While she was sleeping I ran out to do some Easter shopping. I have a feeling the Easter bunny is going to be very good to Emerson this year. :)

So that was our weekend. I am sad to see it go but I am looking forward to the fun activities we have planned this week.

A Change of Plans


While Emerson and I have been busy running around town and making new friends, Jesse has been busy checking in and getting settled at his new job. We were in for a big surprise when we learned that he would not be going to the squadron they had him slated for. (I guess I really shouldn't say we were surprised because that's definitely the Marine Corps for you!)

Anyway, we were a little bit nervous to find out where he would be working and what deployment schedules would look like since we had originally thought that he was going to a unit that would not be deploying. Luckily, he was assigned to the squadron he really wanted and he'll be working with the planes that he likes. When we found out we were relieved knowing that they were not scheduled to deploy for a long while.

Of course, as is common in the military, this all changed when he checked in. We learned that the deployment date has been moved up and is quite a bit sooner than we anticipated. For the first few days after hearing this news I kind of just brushed it off. I mean, if you don't think about it it's not real. Right?

But the reality of it is really starting to sink in now and the thought of it just makes me sick. This is not our first deployment and we have been apart quite a bit over the last few years, but this time it is so much different. Mainly because of Emerson. That baby girl loves her Daddy to the moon and back and I just can't even imagine her not getting to see him every day. Every morning when she wakes up she asks me, "Where's Daddy?" I dread the days when I have to tell her that he we won't see him for a while.  And I absolutely hate that Jesse will miss out on a single second of our sweet girl's life. These precious moments go by way too quickly and I know he will be heartbroken to be so far away.

We were also hoping to start planning for baby #2 and this definitely changes things!  It's a little bit harder to plan for a baby when you are continents apart! We are currently struggling as to whether we want to wait until after the deployment is over or throw caution to the wind and see what happens. In the end I know it it is all in God's hands but this is one thing I have a hard time letting go of.  The thought of being pregnant and taking care of E by myself is terrifying pretty daunting and I would hate for Jesse to miss out on the pregnancy. At the same time the idea of waiting another year (at minimum) makes me super sad. I really wanted our kiddos a little closer together (and I may or may not have a serious case of baby fever.) Who knew the Marine Corps played such a big hand in family planning?!?

The truth is that we are just one of many, many families who have gone or are going through something similar. It's just part of this life that we signed up for. I know we will be fine. We will make it through and we will be an even stronger family when it's over.

But it sure isn't fun to think about. Luckily there are are plenty of distractions to keep us busy and we are going to do our best so soak up every second and enjoy our time together. That's the best we can do, isn't it?

A Leap of Faith


While we were still in Abu Dhabi I began the arduous process of researching churches. I knew that it would be helpful to have a short list of contenders so that we could start visiting once we were settled. I really wasn't sure exactly what we were looking for in a new church home but I prayed that we would know it when we found it.

Our attendance in Abu Dhabi was sporadic and besides the Bible study I did, we never really got involved. I definitely wanted to change that. I desperately want to have a church home that we can become involved in and that Emerson can grow up in (at least while we are here.

I started by looking at non-denominational churches with a contemporary feel. I also tried to stay within 10 miles of our home because Jesse already commutes 40 miles round trip during the week. I thought it would be nice if the church had a good children's program and maybe even a women's Bible study. I've been to tiny churches and huge churches and I think I prefer something right in the middle.

Unfortunately finding what I was looking for is not quite as easy as it sounds. There weren't a lot of churches in our area that jumped out at me. It kind of reminds of me buying a house. When you are looking you love so many things about two different houses and you wish you could combine them. Most of the churches that I really loved are just too far away for a weekly commute. I even looked into some of the more traditional churches in our area and they are all quite small and don't really seem to offer much outside of the regular services on Sunday.

Last week I finally narrowed it down to two in our area that I wanted to visit. I shared them both with Jesse and we agreed on one to try first. I think the fact that the service didn't start until 10:45 was part of the appeal.  Or perhaps the fact that jeans flip flops are acceptable... Anyway, we decided it was a worth a try. 

When we arrived there were two ladies directing children to the proper rooms. I loved that they had a check in system for the kiddos. Apparently there weren't a lot of kids that day because they combined them all into two rooms with 0-2 being all in one room. Emerson went right in without a second look back at us and we headed to the sanctuary.

Everyone was incredibly welcoming and we definitely felt at ease. I liked the music (although it was way too loud for my taste) and I felt like the sermon was just what I needed to hear. The whole feel of the church was very contemporary and I'm still on the fence as to whether it was a bit too contemporary for me. I do know for sure that we liked it enough to go back and try it again. I have a feeling it's going to take several visits to decide if it's right the place for us.

If Emerson had a vote, I think she'd say we found just what we were looking for. When I went to pick her up she was the only toddler in the room and she was having a blast being the big girl. One of the teachers was doing a flannel board story with her and she was mesmerized. She didn't even see us come in and she was just grinning from ear to ear. It was so precious. Before we left the teacher told us that she had learned a memory verse and had earned a sticker for being able to say it. She repeated it for us and I was so impressed! I love that they worked with her and now she knows her very first memory verse, Matthew 28:20. Of course, I had to get a video:

We're looking forward to going back this week and trying it out again. I know this is not one of those things that you can rush into and it will probably take us some time to find the right fit for us.
I am quite certain that God has great plans for us as we search for a church that we can call home.

So Close to Two


Yesterday our sweet girl turned 22 months old. She is *this* close to two.  And oh boy is she at such a fun stage. She constantly has us laughing and we are amazed at everything she says and does. I know it's so cliche, but there are times that I feel like my heart could just burst with love for this little girl. I didn't do a monthly post last month so I feel like there's a lot to catch up on and so much to remember. I know that every parent says this, but I think she is just the smartest, sweetest, and cutest little thing ever.

Here are a few notable things about Emerson at 22 months:

Weight: 27 lbs
Height: 34 inches
Clothing Sizes: 2t, Size 6.5-7 shoe

-Our girl LOVES to talk. Honestly she never stops. She has started stringing together 4-6 word sentences and it seriously amazes me. She is now at the point where she will remember the name of something or someone after being told once or twice.

Some of her favorite things to say:

-Where is Daddy/Mommy (or whatever she is looking for)

-I don't know where is it. (Instead of where it is)

-I love you Mommy (or Daddy)

-I'm cute (while twirling around and "modeling")

-I want Barbie phone (or whatever else she wants)

-No, I don't like it. (I can't tell you how many times a day we hear this. It's her new favorite phrase!)

-Excuse you (She says this when someone is going past us in the store. Such.a.mess!)

-I want to cuddle.

-She loves to say hi and bye and is good at remember people's names. She will also say bye to everything when we are leaving the house. 

-Answers questions with please. If I ask her if she wants a snack and she does, she'll say please instead of yes. I think it's so cute.

-Says thank you and you're welcome without prompting

-Uses descriptive words for items (yellow duck, big car, pretty necklace, etc)

Other random things about E:

-Loves to climb, swing, dance, sing, play with baby dolls and Barbie.

-Has gotten really good at pretend play. This morning she put two blocks together in the shape of a cone and told me she was eating ice cream. She has also started to pretend to cook in her kitchen. She loves to bring me pancakes and soup.

-She can identify the uppercase letters of the alphabet and their sounds, most colors, most shapes, count to 13 (rotely- and about 3-4 objects)

-Loves to sing. 

-Is obsessed with the alphabet. She points out letters everywhere we go and even sees them abstractly. A few days ago she told me that the gutters on the house across the street made a J.

-Does NOT like to sit in the grocery cart or stroller. She will usually last about 25 minutes before she is ready to get out. It can make shopping tricky but usually if I have snack she will sit a little bit longer.

-We tried making the transition to her toddler bed but that was a no go. She laid down on it but as soon as we tucked her in she started screaming and kept saying over and over,  " NO! I don't like it!" So we set the Pack N Play back up and every night at bedtime we ask her where she wants to sleep. She always goes over to the Pack N Play and says "I want this one." I'm hoping that a side rail will help her feel more secure but I haven't tried it yet.
-During our big move we put potty training on hold. Since moving we have slowly started transitioning back to using potty. It's not full time but I try to get her to go 3 times a day. Sometimes we're successful but sometimes she'll get tired of sitting and start saying"diaper" until I put her diaper back on her. I'm thinking in the next month or two still start getting a bit more consistent with it.
-Her favorite thing to do is in the morning is to come lay down in our bed and snuggle. We usually do this for 10-15 minutes before getting up and having breakfast. It's one of my favorite parts of the day.

- I can't believe how long her hair is getting. It looks precious in pigtails or a baby ponytail!
-She is getting a little too confident on the stairs. She had her first big fall last week when she lost her balance at the top of the stairs and did a forward roll right down them. She didn't really cry but I about lost it. Thank goodness her only injury was a slightly bruised cheek.
-She just loves to color and asks to do it at least 5 times a day. She definitely prefers markers over crayons so our table is constantly covered with newspaper!

-Enjoys puzzles and games. I recently pulled out some of my lower level file folder games and she has enjoyed playing with them.
-Sleeps with her doggy, her baby, two light blankets, a pillow, and her Barbie phone. Last month it was a kid's calculator instead of the Barbie phone.
-Her favorite character right now it Tinkerbell. She calls her Bebell and requests to watch it every day.

-She absolutely loves to be outside. She especially loves to swing and swim.

-Her favorite foods are pancakes and corn on the cob. 
-She loves to be my big helper and go with me to get the mail. She finds our mailbox, turns the key and gets the mail out to carry home.

I know there are so many things I'm leaving out but I hope this will help me remember what E is like at this age. She is just too much fun and I don't want to forget second of it!

Recent Happenings


It's really hard to believe that another week has passed since we made our big move. In some ways I feel like we just got here and in others I feel like we have been here forever. Things are really starting to come together in the house and it feels more like home every day. I can't wait to share pictures once we get everything situated. Regardless of the mess, it has definitely become home and we've all learned to love our little place.
I am very sad to say that I have not had my big camera out since we've been here. I've been relying on the trusty old iPhone which means my pictures are not the greatest and I really don't have a lot to share. I'm hoping to change that this week!

Other than unpacking and decorating, we've been staying busy getting out and about and trying to meet people. Before we moved I promised myself that I would join in as many groups/playdates as I could and that I would do it quickly. I knew that the longer I waited, the harder it would be.

So far I've been to a few meet-ups and I've already met a few really nice moms. They have all been so welcoming and I'm praying that I will be able to develop some long lasting friendships. I've really been seeking out fellow Christian moms because I feel like that is the influence I need most in my life right now.

I even attended my very first MOPS meeting. I was a bit concerned about putting Emerson in the nursery but she loved it. When I came to get her she said, "Hi Mommy!" and then turned around and kept right on playing.

We've also been taking full advantage of all the beautiful weather and the amazing parks. Emerson is loving it! It's even been nice enough to "swim" with the neighbors.
Library storytime has also been a big hit. We've been to three different libraries so far and each one has been well received by our little munchkin. She especially loves the singing, as you can see from this video:

I think one of the things I love the most is that we are so close to so many great stores! I went to Trader Joe's for the first time and found so many fun things! I've also paid quite a few visits to Target. I love that is just a few miles down the road.

This weekend was filled with a few others first that I'll be sharing throughout the week. And, of course, I'll be sharing Emerson's 22 month update tomorrow. 22 months?!? My girl is getting big!!

Happy Monday friends!

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