It’s been awhile…{life lately & a big update}

Surprise, I’m alive! Life has been busy. Multiple kids is no joke! When I sneak in time for myself I’m usually catching up on other people’s blogs, doing a project, catching up on TV or designing stuff for friends and family and my Etsy store (and even that, not so much lately) – so the blog has taken a back seat. I wish it weren’t the case, as there’s so many house projects we’ve done that I’ve never shared, and not to mention a bajillion photos of my cute kids, but unfortunately the blog is low on the list of priorities. Find me on Instagram (@jstuck) if you want proof I’m alive! Fact: I first started writing this update post 3 MONTHS ago.

Time has really flown by and while some things stay the same ( “Get your shoes on!” (X1,308) “Sit. at. the. table.” “Three more bites!” “Gentle with your brother!” “Jax, no face grabbing! No biting! No eating paper!”), some things have changed quite a bit.

Our laundry/mud room.

laundry room

Our powder room.

powder bath

Our master bathroom.

master bath

I have a ONE YEAR OLD and a 3 1/2 year old!

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(sorry everyone else, I win at cute kids)

And…..we’re moving to Denver, Colorado! Surprise! Cue the sad trombone. While most would be excited, I’m…not so much, can’t lie. It’s what they call “bittersweet”. I have no interest in leaving this house that we’ve put so much work into to make it our home, our great neighbors who are now our friends, friends in general, the amazing town we live in (seriously, Geneva, Illinois – two thumbs up), and most of all, pretty much all of my extended family, especially my parents. It will be so, so, so hard for not only me to not be near them, but especially my kids not growing up with their Grandparents close to them, at every birthday celebration, holiday, occasional little league games…you get the point. I know people do it all the time, sometimes willingly, but it’s not how I grew up, what I wanted or expected. Why are we moving then? Long story short, my husband works from home and can work anywhere, and while he grew up in Illinois, he is not a fan (understatement) of the winters and high cost of living. If one of those could change, we could stay, but unfortunately neither is possible in the foreseeable future. I’m a beach/water/warm person, NOT mountains and skiing, but it did have good schools and family, so, Denver, here we come! Am I excited for anything? Well, yes, I am excited for the gorgeous house we’re building and to be walking distance to my sister-in-law and her family. My three nephews are all close in age to my kids and they will get to grow up together, which will be so fun and good for them. And I suppose the mountains are pretty, and it’s a milder winter (supposed to be – not this year – maybe everyone is just lying to us to get us there ;)) blah blah. 😉

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We put our house on the market in November, in like the worst time to sell, but are currently under contract! (If you’re interested in seeing how our home looks now, after all the updates we’ve done, you can see our listing here.  Lots to see and compare against the dated befores! Part I and Part II befores. You know, since I suck at updating this blog.) Basically the whole process of selling sucks. I’m never moving again, although I have to hold out hope that we move back home soooooooo there’s that. We close near the end of February on our house here, will move in with my parents for a couple weeks, then make the long, looooooong drive to Colorado and close on our new house in early March. Physically I only have 4 boxes packed so far and mentally I have like -400 packed.

In terms of the blog…with packing, and moving, and having a new city, let alone state, to get used to and a huge house to decorate and my Etsy store, and two kids (hopefully, eventually, not now, three)…unfortunately I don’t see myself sustaining it. It just doesn’t seem possible. While the blog will still exist on WordPress, I will not be renewing the direct URL,, so it will only live at I’m not saying this is forever, but…it might be. It was great while it lasted and I appreciate every. single. reader and comment. Again, if you want proof I’m alive, too many pics of my kids and glimpses of my eventual new house, Instagram is where it’s at for me. Happy New Year, happy new beginnings.



Baby Bump #2 | Weeks 37 & 38

I had these done, so I might as well post them! The final two weeks of my pregnancy, which was very unexpected.
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week 38-01

And then he came, less than 48 hours after I took week 38’s picture and wrote the blurb. Who knew he would listen so well? Let’s hope that continues…(though based on his fussiness lately…notsomuch. #sendalcohol #andearplugs #andsweetbabymagic)

Here’s a look at the growing bump from start to finish…

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So this happened…{hello Jackson Ryan}

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Jackson “Jax” Ryan Stuckenschneider made his entrance 12 days early on Friday, January 2. He was 20″ long and 8 lbs 1 oz. I think I’m the most surprised of all, even though I wanted him to come ASAP most of all. We couldn’t be more in love with him.

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So the birth story (mainly so I have a record of it somewhere, before I forget it!): I had been super uncomfortable in the last week, in general and because of contractions that started to hurt a little vs. just be uncomfortable. It made me wonder if the real deal was going to happen soon, but given Henry was 11 days late after inducing, I didn’t really think he would be coming, at least that soon. I didn’t even have my hospital bag packed. The morning of January 2nd I was woken up at 5:45am from what felt like being kicked in the stomach (like, hard, not like a usual baby kick). I got up and went to the bathroom and tried to go back to bed, but I was having contractions that hurt, often. I started timing them and they were four to six minutes apart, which surprised me, since I thought usually they would start further apart? After a good half hour or so without them letting up and becoming quite a bit painful I got up and took a shower, since I thought “holy sh*t, these feel how they did with Henry. This could actually be it.” and apparently I felt I needed to shower before the big show. As I tried to get dressed the contractions were even more painful, causing me to stop whatever I was doing, and convincing me that this was it. So I finally woke Ryan up about 6:30 or 6:45am and then I tried to get ahold of my parents so they could come over to be with Henry. We also tried texting a couple neighbor friends (it was 7am which isn’t super early but early enough we didn’t want to disturb anyone if we didn’t have to), but no answers all around. Luckily my sister heard me call her while she was asleep and she was able to wake my parents up, who came over to relieve a friend who was actually up and able to come over to be at the house with a still sleeping Henry (Thanks, John!). As I was throwing things into my hospital bag (I had no idea what I was doing or putting in there) and trying to get dressed (I seriously couldn’t figure out what to wear to the hospital while in labor), my water broke in the bathroom, shortly after 7am. <insert two changes of underwear>. On the three minute drive to the hospital even more water gushed out – yes indeed, I really was in labor. For real. As if I couldn’t tell before.

At the hospital I had to have a wheelchair to get to the labor and delivery ward and was swearing a lot, because geez, those contractions hurt! And were every few minutes so there wasn’t much relief. They quickly checked me in, as I told them that I was ready for my epidural, ASAP. The longest hour later I finally (though was informed it was quick) got the epidural, and thank goodness for drugs, friends. My completely asleep right leg, my extremely dry mouth and hunger were more of an annoyance than the contractions for the rest of the time. God bless a fantastic nurse (if you go to Delnor you will want Becky) who snuck me water and said I could take some sips. About 3:20 pm it was time to push (my nurse, Ryan and the doctor were really encouraging and helped this along!) and at 4:02 pm my perfect little Jackson was born. He definitely had lungs on him, and came out with some rolls! I was super excited to see those rolls 🙂 I’m hoping they stay/grow. When Henry came to meet him that night with my family, it was the best thing ever. He was so excited, kept asking to see “baby Jax”, proudly showed me his visitor sticker, tried to give Jax his new toy and kept wanting to hold him.

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Everything was a bit surreal to me. I felt so unprepared for everything that happened! I was not supposed to give birth almost two weeks early – I was in the middle of projects, didn’t finish the nursery yet, hadn’t finished all the baby laundry (thank goodness we had at least gotten out and washed all the gear) and hadn’t packed. But everything happened as it should have, and really couldn’t have gone any better. I’m very happy he was an impatient guy and was so glad I was able to have a successful VBAC, with my chosen doctor who was miraculously working that day, for the experience and the recovery. My recovery is much easier this time around (though let’s be clear there is recovery and it’s still going on) and I was able to go home the next day – which may be crazy, but I was anxious to get home with Henry.


going home






So we’re home and healthy and happy — and tired, but my mom was here for several days doing all the things, which was amazing. I’ve had my food cooked, laundry done, house cleaned, flowers and food delivered – a girl could get used to this 🙂 I guess it’s not every day you have a baby, so I’ll soak it in…along with baby snuggles and the joy of watching Henry with Jax. Seeing Henry with him is one of the most special things ever, my heart could burst every time he gives him a kiss or a face hug or tells him “it’s OK baby Jax”. He is also no longer a “big boy” but is instead a “big brother”. So so so so so awesome. I can’t believe he’s a week old already today and I seriously can’t believe he’s here – have I said that already? My heart is so full, what a perfect start to 2015!

1 week(one week old!)


(I have 2 weeks left of my maternity book to post, which I’ll still do since it needs to get done anyway. Though if it will be anything like Henry’s, it still won’t be printed a couple years later…)

Merry Christmas

Just a quick pop-in to say Merry Christmas!

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One day Henry was in the best mood, agreeing to everything, so we had an impromptu photo shoot for a Christmas card photo. He’s just the cutest thing, and I cannot believe that next year at this time I will have a 3 1/2 year old AND an 11 month old. Crazy! Don’t worry, this year we’re not thinking too far ahead and are savoring the last one with just Henry — of course he will be getting spoiled – it’s so hard not to do. I mean, look at that face and smile!

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Hope you get spoiled and/or enjoy doing the spoiling!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


Baby Bump #2 | 34 Weeks

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You guys, I keep getting larger (I am already 2 weeks larger than the above photo, at the time of writing). Just when I think it’s not possible, it just keeps happening. And I know it will continue to happen. It happened last time, it will happen this time. I know I’m not extra large, I’m measuring right on track, but, ugh. You can’t help but feel this way in the moment. I officially reached the weight limit I had wanted to gain, and with several more weeks left with the baby gaining weight, well, I will too. Ah vell. I’m not about to not have my sweets and cereal (as I eat a bowl and a half of Kix while writing this), what with not being able to indulge in all the holiday drinking.

I can’t believe it’s Christmas next week! It’s so exciting. And after Christmas comes baby watch 2014/2015. I really do feel like this one might come early for some reason, though if he’s anything like Henry, it’s only wishful thinking. I’m not wishing to hard yet though, I do want to make it to Christmas at least – for his sake, and mine. Time to finish the nursery and do loads of tiny laundry…

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In the shop {YSM Paper}

Since I launched my Etsy shop, YSM Paper, a couple months ago, I’ve added a bunch of new prints! Prices were also lowered for the holiday season (and may continue afterwards), so for only $5 you can get some new art. I have a few Christmas/holiday prints, many that would be perfect for a nursery or big kid room, and others that would work anywhere in your house.










{here, also in just black & white}




{here, also available in a triangle version}

{here, also available in several variations}


{here, this and the numbers print below have been printed for Henry’s room in 16×20 and look awesome!}









I really enjoy creating pieces to use in my own home, a lot of which I have planned for Henry’s room and the nursery, though I have yet to print and frame/hang most of them – which I need to get on since this babe will be here in 5 weeks or less! I’ve even taken on several custom orders, from different sizes and colors to creating prints that are not even listed in the shop!

You can favorite my shop to see new prints, or follow my YSM Paper board on Pinterest as well where I (try to remember!) pin new prints.


Baby Bump #2 | 32 Weeks

Time is flying by. Thanksgiving is over (How was yours? Hope it was as good as mine! Good food, family and relaxing, nothing is much better.) and we are full swing into Christmas season. We actually got the tree and decorated the house inside and out the weekend before Thanksgiving (we were those people), which is a first for us. I blame Henry and all his Christmas movie watching. I’ve started my Christmas shopping, and most of it is done online, so I’m pretty sure the UPS and FedEx guys know where to go automatically when they see our last name. But I still have a bunch to do, though I don’t feel the time crunch, yet. I do feel a time crunch with the nursery, since it’s a bit of a disaster right now, and I’m still trying to get house projects and nursery projects done before the babe gets here in approximately 6 weeks. Yikes! Yes, I’m 34 weeks tomorrow, so this is a little late to post. Story of my life.

32 weeks

I have so much to update on, including our laundry room renovation that is going along great, and Henry transitioning to a big boy bed last week. Hopefully one day before the baby is here! Enjoy the most wonderful time of the year!