Sep 11, 2012

Can I Spray Paint My Life?

 I thought I had just recently discovered the joy of spray paint. But as I sat down to write about this new found joy I realized that my first introduction to spray painting was when I lived in Indiana about 8 years not so new found. But as is often the case with me I did not realize what powerful information I had stumbled upon until about a year ago. For some reason it took me awhile to get the memo about if you have something old and yucky... yet still with potential and even some character you can spray paint it and no one will ever believe that it was once old and yucky.

I had a friend in Indiana named Jill who had the cutest house ever and the cutest furniture ever you see a theme here? I was only a little bit jealous of the cuteness. One day I was helping her clean out some apartments that her father in law had just recently bought and she came across an old dresser that I saw absolutely no potential in it whatsoever but she snatched it right up and I had to ask why, and how, and when, and so many more questions. And that is when she bore her testimony to me about spray paint and all of a sudden I understood why her furniture, picture frames, accessories, and kids (JK) were so gosh darn cute. I have no idea what I thought spray paint was for up until that moment.... graffiti? :) But when I went home all of a sudden everything had potential.

I had a kitchen table and eight chairs that someone had given to me when we lived in Kansas. I liked them but I often wished the white part of them was a different color but I had never realized I had the power to change that. Now I understood. And the minute I got home from Jill's that day I looked at that table with new eyes. Jill surely had to have wished she had never told me about spray paint because I need tons of support when I do a diving in and learning as we go for this girl. I will ask you questions until you think you are going to die. So between her, and my dear friend Joan, my table and chairs were transformed. And I never knew such happiness.

You would have thought immediately after this spray painting success that I would have gone wild...but I did not. We ended up moving to Massachusetts, life happened, and I did not think of spray paint again until last summer. One day we were on our paper route and there sitting at the end of someones driveway was an old, white, wicker chair. It spoke to me. I really wanted me some wicker. But I resisted. I have this problem about stopping and taking things that are intended to be taken. I know I need therapy for this but at least I can now admit it. So after driving by this chair that I really needed for two days I finally got up my courage to ask my kids to go get it for me :) They did it. And I was so happy. I washed the chair and ran to Home Depot for my trusty can of Colonial Red spray paint and I was definitely in love. But winter came and even I know you can not spray paint in the winter in Massachusetts so my fun was put on hold.

Since spring came and warmer temperatures I have been spray painting just enough to drive the children crazy and cause them to worry a little about what of their possessions I may spray paint. Some of the next victims were a bookshelf and some candle stick holder thingys. Yep, two projects at once. The bookshelf was my neighbors and was very blue. The pre spray paint Jennifer could have never seen past the blue but the new Jennifer knew immediately that there was hope. And in case you are planning an intervention for my addiction to Colonial Red spray paint I want to show you that I actually bought a different color for the bookshelf. Aren't I growing up nicely?

Speaking of buying different colors I had three chairs in my house that have been with us since Kansas and I needed them to look newer than they looked. I once again decided to branch out from my favorite Colonial Red and stood in the Home Depot spray paint aisle for a long time staring. I finally settled on Sage Green in gloss. When I got home I recognized this sage green thing was making me feel afraid so I chose the oldest looking of the chairs and went to town. When I was all done I decided hate was a good word for the color. And I am still praying about what color these three chairs should be :)

I am not so perfect at this spray painting thing. But I am learning it is very forgiving. My new goal is to stop those gosh darn drips forever more. I confess that I sometimes wish I could spray paint my life. Just a fresh coat of something glossy. I mean it is just so easy. And there are hardly any rules. Just shaking the can. Covering what you do not want color on. Sanding. Washing. Drying. And no wind :)

Here are the candlesticks from Goodwill. Fifty cents later. And yes, Colonial Red :) Duh!

Sep 10, 2012

Pleased As Punch.

Some Sundays we have company over. Those Sundays are very structured, very busy, and fun. Some Sundays we do not have company over and those Sundays are lazy, relaxed, and did I already mention lazy? Today was the no company kind of Sunday. As soon as I could I headed outside to put my cotton LL Bean hammock to good use. I adore my hammock. I adore whoever invented hammocks. I adore whoever invented blue skies, white puffy clouds, trees with all different kinds of leaves, nine million shades of green, and sunlight that filters through leaves. I also have been known to adore clear, crisp air. How about some adoring of books, throw pillows off of couches and favorite blankets? Yes, so many adoring things added to the comfortable, complacent, pleased as punch, satisfied, tickled pink, at ease feeling that I had today this ninth day of September from 2 to 4:34 in the afternoon. I wonder if I had days like these more often if they would not seem so magical anymore?

The only thing that would have made it more magical would be that I could share it. So in an attempt to share I took pictures of my views from my hammock so that you could pretend you were there.

jealous much?
Yes, painted toenails are part of the contentment :)

Puffy clouds with the perfect mix of gray and white.
After about two and a half hours the kiddos discovered where I was and then it was an endless parade of them bringing chickens by the hammock to see me and a girl can only do so much of that before the words like pleased as punch, tickled pink, satisfied, and complacent are long gone :)

And then it was over :)

Sep 3, 2012

Amanda Is Starting Out.....Look Out BYU Idaho.

Well my middle child officially closes the door on the living at home years today. Tomorrow morning bright and early she gets on an airplane and heads for Idaho and Brigham Young University. I have had this happen three times before. I am not a, "hold on to you forever and make you live close to me forever" kind of mom. I am always so excited to see them reach milestones and move on as it is supposed to be. But I always find myself mulling a lot of things over in my mind the night before each of them have left home. SO many questions I ask myself. SO many things I wonder if I remembered to teach them so they will be good roommates. So many memories it brings back to me. A few fears I have about what I know they will face and have I taught them how to handle it all?

 I have never had the chance to take one of my kids to college. Because of the hubby's work he always gets to fly out west with the newest college kid. I will never really know if they have everything they need. I never know what their dorm room looks like. I never meet their roommates. I never have any pictures of them standing in front of their new digs. I never get to fight crowds at the closest Target and Walmart to the college. I never get to insist that they have all the food groups in their cupboards and fridge before I leave. I never get to notice and point out that... AH-HA... they do need that one thing they thought they didn't. The funny thing is that they always are fine without any of these nevers :)

When I went to college in...1986.... my mom and dad loaded our big blue truck with all the things I thought I could not live without, me, and my two little brothers and we drove from Snohomish, Washington to Provo, Utah. I remember having a HUGE Costco size bottle of Jojoba shampoo with a side handle. I remember having a brand spanking new dictionary/thesaurus box set that I was extremely proud of. And it turned out I was one of the few who brought a stapler with me to college.

 I was the oldest kid in my family. I had no idea what setting up a dorm room meant. I had no older siblings to educate me. Because Amanda is the middle child she has this awesome opportunity to be able to ask three older siblings about what she needs to take. As soon as I got to BYU I  needed my parents to quickly take my two annoying brothers and leave and stop embarrassing me all over BYU campus with their loud exclamations of memories from when they were there. (yeah, I was a mature 18 :) As soon as they finally left I missed them for a second and then started setting up my room. I was so in love with the comforter my mom had made for me. I carefully hung up my favorite Mormon ad poster, pictures of teddy bears, and a very interesting assortment of things that mattered to me. After I set up I started venturing out and meeting the girls on the second floor of May Hall in Helaman Halls. As I wandered from dorm room to dorm room it became painfully aware to me that I knew nothing about setting up a dorm room. Some of these girls had carpets they had brought to cover the dorm room carpet, baskets to carry their bathroom supplies down to the bathroom in, matching decorations, tv's, stereo's. This was the first experience I had with some serious house envy :) I bet those girls are ALL interior designers today :) I really did not learn anything from those feelings of inadequacy that I had. Because, as of tomorrow, I will have sent 4 kids off to college with nothing matching. Nothing expensive. Nothing awesome. I would if they would let me. But not one of these Baird children has asked for anything for their college experience. I bought Amanda some hotpads and a small very cheap package of silverware. She claims all she needs is a bowl and a spoon....cereal and Ramen...duh :) I have yet to raise a high maintenance child and it worries me so :) The oldest had to have things and for the most part those things have been passed on from sibling to sibling.

My kids always choose the cheapest housing. They live without dishwashers. They embrace mold in the showers. All they care about is saving money. I have no idea why. If my parents wanted to buy me some things for college or even just some things for right now in my 43 year old life I would hardly protest :)

I am going to miss Miss Amanda......
She is so great with details.
She has so many great practical ideas on how things can be done better
She is such a good example.
She embraces her naturally curly hair.
She always has decorating advice. I always ask her where to hang pictures and such.
She makes me smile with her crazy legs dance that she burst into randomly.
She love to intersperse Spanish with English when she can.
She can motivate like nobody's business.
The cat LOVES Amanda. She plays and plays and plays with it.
Amanda loves to take pictures and I will miss her willingness to take pictures and her need for them to be in perfect lighting.
If you want a running partner to motivate you Amanda is your girl.
She never wavers on whatever path she has chosen.
I love that she can send me a text from school and tell me exactly where to go to get the three things she forgot.
She has the most organized closet of anyone on the planet

Last week she earned her Young Women's Medallion which is not for the faint of heart and took her six years to earn.  I was so overwhelmed as I looked around the room at the people who had come to support her in her accomplishment. She really did not want any recognition at all.

She is the first Baird child to get to go all four years at the same high school.
I am not sure how Joe and I will get up for seminary now that she is gone. She would never let us miss a day.

She is off to new adventures. She will get to add to her growing list of true friends. She will have more chances to figure out who she is. She will see what it is like to live among tons of other Mormons.

 I hope she never forgets that even though she can be the loudest Baird child we all love her dearly for that and so much more. I do not know what Tatiana and Natalie will do without someone to do their hair in fun ways for them. And what I will do without someone to tell me my dress or skirt is a little too short :) I am proud of the way she dealt with the disappointment of not getting accepted to BYU Provo. I am proud of how determined she is to do what is right. And I will miss her chocolate covered pretzels :)

I hope she knows that I was the best mom I knew how to be and that I am by NO means perfect. So far they have thankfully all come back from college with a sweet understanding of this :) And I hope she forgives me for posting silly pictures of her when she was little on my blog :) And I hope she enjoys her hotpads and silverware :)