A new bookshelf and my last first day....

Sometimes things last for YEARS around here...sometimes its just a matter of weeks until I switch things up.

Last week I bought a little oak mission bookshelf at an auction. First, mission is NOT my style. Second, oak is not my favorite wood. But I really liked this little shelf and when I switched out this "frosted berry" bookshelf...

I thought "Hum, that's kind of cool."

I like that it is narrower and taller. Doesn't "crowd" the corner as much as the other. 

My first thought was to paint it with my "frosted berry" paint...but so far the consensus is NOT to paint it. Hum....here I have worked so hard to lighten and brighten all my furniture and I bring in this dark piece.

I have always described my "style" first and foremost as "eclectic." This definitely brings a little more "eclectic" flair into this space! Duncan Phyfe table, mid-century chair, mission oak shelf and modern mirror and curtains. 

Not sure if that is eclectic or spastic. 

At the very least I want to refinish it...strip all the old heavy finish and give it a facelift. Maybe once I get that done it won't seem so "dreary." 

I'll put it in line along with my mid century dining chairs and the 4 or 5 other pieces I want to strip and refinish! Brian reminds me often...."You just make work for yourself." 


My Last First....

This is for all the mommies who feel like you are trapped in toddler or teenage Hades....

Monday was my "last first day." My oldest is 33... I have been parenting, struggling, crying, worrying, stressing...for THIRTY THREE YEARS!

This was my 28th "first day of school."

Bad news, it really never ends. Even when they "grow up" and legally become adults you still worry, stress, cry...and yes, struggle.   

Good news, the battles you are fighting today with your toddlers and teenagers and all the inbetweens WILL pay off in the future. As long as you "pick your battles" carefully and more than anything, really enjoy and embrace this time with your kiddos while they are young...because it will fly by faster than you can imagine.

Back to my original thought (I do ramble), Monday was my last day of a first day of public school. My youngest, Katie, started her senior year this year. So this is my last first day.

I can not tell you how quickly this has flown by! And I am SUPER fortunate to have four wonderful, healthy, intelligent children who USUALLY gave me little grief. 

Believe it or not, there was a time when photos were not digital. So these are just pictures of pictures....

I have already turned over all of Sarah's pictures to her...so I don't have a "first day" picture of her.

Mitchell's first day of school! What an awesome little man!

Matt was my "September baby" and could have started a year earlier...but when he was old enough to start school, he honestly didn't care what color something was or how to write any letter that was not in his name. So I waited a year...by then he was raring to go!

Katie...my baby...

Oh my gosh this just seems like yesterday. And now she is an intelligent, exceptionally talented young lady. She was a June baby and could have waited a year too but she knew ALL her colors and numbers and letters by the time she was 5 and was more than ready to start the adventures of education. She will not even be 18 when she graduates but you would never know it. The kid is a genius!

I am proud of all my babies. Sarah is a busy mom, wife and part time paralegal but still manages to attend college and make perfect grades! My oldest son, Mitchell, is on his second education...a college graduate who is now working on his EMT certification. Matt is working full time, studying for his commercial pilot's license, AND working on his masters. And of course Katie...she scores off the charts and I have no doubt she will be a stellar college student as well.

I am so grateful all my children value the importance of getting an education and continue to strive to be the best they can be!  

My daughter Sarah is passing that on to her children and I know that they have a tremendous amount of respect and pride for their mom as she works her way through college after all these years. As do I.

Here is to all the stressed out, worried, struggling moms! Your children love you and admire you! Never forget that they look to you for guidance and direction...so with love and respect guide them to be the best that they can be. 

We are all busy. We all have challenges and struggles. But our children should grow up in a home where they feel loved, respected, nurtured and safe. 

Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try, we will fail time and time again. NO parent is perfect and it truly is a miracle our children survive all our mistakes. 

Two pieces of parenting advice I give....one, when you KNOW better you DO better. Two, never be the first to let go of a hug! 

If you will follow these two simple parenting tips, you will enjoy your "last first" and know that they have a wonderful life ahead of them!