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Connor’s Birth Story

Connor is 1 year old today. I can’t believe it. I just can’t get over the fact that he didn’t exist before that, because it’s so hard to imagine life without him now. He has brought so much joy and a brand new meaning to our lives. It was a year of ups and downs and constant learning from triumphs and mistakes, but that’s parenthood, right?

So, I figured today, on his birthday, I’d share his birth story.  Partly because I’ve been wanting to write it for so long, and this has forced me to. But also, because I absolutely love hearing and reading other’s birth stories (what mom doesn’t??)  I want to be able to remember all of the details about that amazing moment that he entered this world and became our amazingly handsome and precious son.  I wanted to get David to participate in this too, so a la “The Magnolia Story” style (it’s a cute little book, I totally recommend), if you see anything written in italics, that’s David talking.

I bought her that book as a Christmas stocking stuffer, so in a way this was my awesome idea.

So if you’re not interested in a super personal story, I don’t advise you to read on.  I wanted to share it because I think it could be enjoyable and educational for other mamas.  And because at Connor’s one year birthday, and the rest of my life,  I can relive that experience through this story.

I’m not sure she really wants to relive ALL of it…

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We paid 65 bucks for these pictures…

So I hope you don’t think we’ve got ADD or something.  Our posts over the past few weeks have kind of been all over the place, but that’s pretty representative of our lives right now.  We’re in the middle of balancing coming back from a weekend out of town (traveling with a baby is WORK), setting up a 1st birthday party, juggling HVAC contractors, general contractors, specific contractors, and engineers all at our house almost daily as we try to find the best way to take down this damn wall in the living room, and really overall, just trying to get our work done everyday at work so that we can come home and make dinner and enjoy time with our little dude and puppies.  And maybe trying to get some exercise somewhere in there (those 5am morning runs are COLD! Spring where are you???) So I promise we’ll be giving more updates on the wall removal as soon as we nail down a plan.

Anyways, because life loves to throw you curve balls, a few weeks ago, I walked into one of our currently unused “guest bedrooms” to grab a gift bag for my friend’s baby shower. Yes, I still haven’t really cleaned up all of the boxes and crap from Connor’s baby shower OVER A YEAR AGO… the dangers of having a room you don’t currently use and just closing the door on it.

While I was in there, I noticed some paint flaking off on the ceiling.

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1990’s Colonial

That’s a thing, right?

In trying to find the “style” of our home, I took a look around our neighborhood.  It’s a pretty established neighborhood with hills, large(ish) lots, big trees, and a park.  It fit all of our check boxes (with the exception of the one big grocery store in town that I hate) and it’s close to work, schools, and restaurants.  The homes in our neighborhood were built between the 1960’s to the 1990’s, depending on the location.  Ours is in the newer section and was built in 1993, and is considered a “large, expanded colonial.”

I thought maybe if I researched colonial homes, it may give me a bit more inspiration of what our style for this house was going to be.  It doesn’t really make sense to have a house on the beach that’s decorated in mid-century modern style, or a cabin in the mountains that’s decorated with coastal decor, right?

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Scandinavian? What?

What is my home style? This is a question I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, as I’m brainstorming more design ideas for our current home.  We plan to be in the house for a long time, and I’d love for it to be timeless.  I want something that is going to last through the ages without having to do a major design overhaul in 10-15 years when times and tastes have changed.

I’ve always loved coastal decor, since I spent a good part of my childhood at my parents’ beach house in southern Delaware.  When David and I moved to Maryland, we were just down the street from the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay.

When we moved to South Carolina, we weren’t too far from the beach where we lived in Charleston.  It just made sense… being near the water, and I loved coastal decor.  Done!

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Nursery Crafting

In our posts about Connor’s nursery, here and here, we glossed over a few projects that we worked on for the decor, so we figured we’d go back and talk about them, assuming you’re interested 😉

I grew up as a total cheapo.  My family made fun of me for everywhere we went I always claimed that I “forgot my wallet.”  I’m sure this has some crumb of truth in it, but I won’t give them that satisfaction to fully admit to it right now haha.  Now that we bring in steady paychecks and can live comfortably, and aren’t struggling, broke college kids, we’ve definitely loosened up on our spending habits.  At heart though, I’m still a cheapo.  I had a lot of ideas for the nursery, that big box stores don’t typically sell.  They’re more the types of decor that you find on Etsy.  As much as I appreciate supporting someone to do that type of work, some of the prices are crazy.  So I researched and pretty much decided that I would do them all myself.

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Rewiring the basement

That title sounds a little drastic, don’t you think? Did it pique your interest? Ok, well we didn’t rewire the entire basement, but we had a couple of projects in the basement recently that required some electrical work. So before I go any further…

Disclaimer: This information given on this site is solely for entertainment purposes and is not a substitute for proper training. Electrical work is complex and can be dangerous if not performed carefully. Always consult an electrician as well as your local laws and codes before performing any electrical work. Hams at Home Blog, its creators, and its authors cannot be held responsible for your safety or any outcomes of performing work following the methods or suggestions on this site. Blah blah blah…

There, now I’ve gotten that out of the way, so let’s begin. As I mentioned in my posts about building our bar shelves, we wanted to put a TV on the top shelf so we could have some background entertainment in the bar.

Bailey the model & a small sneak peak into our theater

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Yea, but is it “sitting on the floor” bad?

That’s what David said to me as I finished cutting in the paint around the window in the first floor bathroom over Christmas break and told him “well that’s not what I was expecting.”

A few years ago when we lived in our SC house, I picked out this beautiful navy blue for the fireplace wall and a wall in our dining room.

I wanted a color that would complement it pretty well, so I chose a pretty grey that looked great next to that navy blue on the paint cards.  I should have realized my mistake there, but I didn’t.  I went ahead and bought that 5 gallon pail of that grey paint, because that was going on the rest of the walls in that main room.  That was a BIG room.

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Bringing the Outside In – Connor’s Nursery Part II

Read Part I of this post in case you missed it!

With all of the ideas together on my idea board, we got to work.  First off, we got started on the planked/shiplap wall because we knew it would probably make a big mess in the room.  I think we’ll probably write a whole post on this wall, so for now, we won’t get into any details.

I sent this picture to my in laws to show them the nursery progress we were making, and they told us we should just keep the wood grain.  I think its a generational thing?  Older generations want to keep the grain to show the quality, whereas we just want to paint everything.  I had that conversation with my mom once.  I’m just generally not a big fan of wood grain unless its on the floors or furniture. What do you think?

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Bringing the Outside In – Connor’s Nursery Part I

I was so excited to do a nursery.  I mean, check out our [facebook] birth announcement:

Geez, I kind of miss my long hair. 🙂  Anyways, when we found out we were having a baby I started planning right away.  I loved the outdoor/adventure theme because it could easily be for a boy or a girl and I always knew that no matter what gender our baby was that the room was going to incorporate navy blue in it… my favorite color. I always had a blue room growing up, usually navy, sometimes a sky blue on both the walls and ceiling complete with huge white clouds (sorry Dad!). Although, I guess I did go through that Little Mermaid phase at one point…

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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from our home to yours!

We hope you all had a wonderful holiday!  We had some good quality family time over the past few days and spent today relaxing and enjoying some quiet time at home.

Christmas with a little one gives it a whole new meaning, and this was our favorite Christmas ever. Even though Connor didn’t really understand what was going on, it was awesome to see his eyes light up with the wrapping paper everywhere and the joy of discovering a new toy!

Keeping this one short and sweet, I’ll leave off with some pictures…

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!!!

Love, Carolyn (Mama Bear), David (Papa Bear), Connor (Lil’ Bear), Riley, and Bailey

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