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 (every.day.: “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.

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Our powder room.

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Our master bathroom.

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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, http://www.youresomartha.com, so it will only live at youresomartha.wordpress.com. 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.

Justine

Baby Bump #2 | Weeks 20 & 23

Well isn’t this pregnancy just cruising along. Still playing catch up with these maternity book pages though – I will be 26 weeks tomorrow, which means it’s time to start kicking it in gear to get things done.

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I’m so excited to decorate another nursery, it’s one of the best parts about having a baby – amiright?! This time I think I’m going with a light mint green, black, white and wood color scheme, and using some geometric shapes around the nursery. It’s not a theme but a direction. I have in fact made up my mind on the color of the walls (I refuse to look at other colors lest I go back into indecision world), but I first need to prime two walls and paint some trim (and actually buy the paint, I’m trying to wait for a sale) before I can actually paint. I need to get started before I get too big. So yea, the trim, ugh. The trim around the door, trim around the closet and the closet doors are totally an off-white, while the baseboards are white. Is it necessary to paint them now? No, but if it’s not done now, I don’t know when it will be, and it’s driving me crazy. But I’m super, super excited for the nursery to come together. I’m in love with the rug and the vintage dresser I found (in such good condition), and am trying to create some art. I’ll have to share something soon.

{Justine}

YSM Paper

Soooooo I started an Etsy shop. Without really telling anyone about it, except for instagram when it was launched. I’ve always had plans of starting one that has sewn goods (burp cloths and blankets and pillows and whatnot), and I even have the shop name reserved on Etsy and perhaps even bought (a little bit of) fabric for pillows and such, but I barely have time or motivation to do much of anything around these parts, so sewing for an Etsy shop is just not happening. I still have the pillows on my couch that match my couch fabric, people – that is so not cool, and I hate them so much, though in order to sew new ones that means I have to make a decision on what colors and fabrics to use, then buy it, then actually sew, so my prediction of new pillows is maybe sometime never. But who knows with the thing called “nesting”. It would be great if it could kick in any. day. now. so I’m motivated for the one million projects I have to do.

YSM Paper logo

BUT, back to the Etsy shop I did actually open. I’m good at sitting on the couch and using my computer – that’s the type of project I have motivation for – so the shop is YSM Paper and it’s a shop of instant download typography prints. I’ve always had a passion for typography, and I’ve been learning how to use Illustrator slowly but surely, so I finally started creating prints for myself to fill the empty frames hanging on my walls (for months…and months…). Ideas for prints just kept coming and suddenly I had a folder full of prints – some finished, some almost, some just a placeholder to come back to. Some are simple, some are girly, some are fun, some are sentimental, but all are me. Quotes or lyrics I love, songs I sing to Henry, phrases that reflect my love for my family, etc. etc. mushy mushy. So on whim I opened up shop to basically see what happens, since I have all of these anyway. Why not? 

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There’s not too many prints available yet, just the few I had the most ready to launch with, but I’m constantly working on finishing the ones I’ve started to get listed, making progress on some and getting new ideas all the time – so follow me or check back! Most everything is meant to be printed and framed at 8″x10″, though a couple prints have different sizes due to already being created for myself (they can probably be sized down, though I’m happy to work with people on different sizes or orientations or even colors). Everything is an instant download only, which is honestly due to wanting to see if anyone is actually interested in my stuff before figuring out all the logistics of physically printing and mailing things to people.

It’s kind of nerve wrecking to put it all out there, but what’s to lose? At the least I’ll have a very full library of prints to fill the mountain of empty frames I have. I’d love for you to check it out, “heart” it on Etsy if you happen to be on there, and even let me know if there’s a quote/saying/idea you’ve been wanting. I also added a link to the shop in my header and sidebar, so you can’t miss it 🙂

{Justine}

Henry: Today you are TWO!

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Henry, today you are two!

Today you say so many words, though you still only say the first syllable. Just a sampling: Ha (Henry), Ma, Da, Ba (Beck), Ja (Jack), Jer (Uncle Jarrett), Pa, Ah (Otto, and Charlotte), wah (walk), poo (pool, poo, pee), pull, hi, bye, na (banana, yellow), nya (milk), Geor (Curious George), Ah-ja (Mickey Mouse), juice, choo (train), truck, draw, and my personal favorite – boo (balloon, blue, boo boo and…boob – while grabbing it. ha!).

Today you have also started to put together phrases and it’s so cute. “Nya Geor Da Ba” (drink milk while watching Curious George with Dad and Beck – usually said after bath time) and “Da Ba wah” (Dad and Beck go on a walk).

Today you don’t ever sit still, even while watching TV.

Today you love to climb – on furniture, on Beck, on Mom and Dad. Though you are still fairly cautious and haven’t gotten really hurt yet (knock on wood).

Today you are 34 3/4 inches tall and weigh 27.5 pounds.

Today Curious George is still your favorite. Though you also love Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

Today you fake cry, a lot. Though sometimes you convince yourself it’s for real and then it’s for real.

Today you love trucks. In the car you ask me for “one more truck” over and over again. If I could make trucks appear for you, I would my dear.

Today you love to draw. You draw line after line on the chalkboard, and scribbles on paper. You request that I write “Henry” and draw dogs, cats and owls over and over…and over.

Today you love letters. You love the Endless Alphabet app, and can identify and match letters. Sometimes I think you’re a genius. You say “ah ah ah” to point out letters.

Today you love to learn.

Today you love animals. You call a cow a “moo” and a pig a “go”. Sometimes I am your interpreter.

Today fruit snacks, apple juice and milk are your favorites.

Today you love to go to the pool. Your favorite part is the fountains and you love to stand over them and spray your bum like the big kids. You also love the sprinkler, and the hose, and the bath. You’re a water baby and I love it.

Today you sign “thank you” but everyone thinks you’re blowing kisses – which works.

Today you are still destined to be a class clown. If something accidental makes you laugh or other people laugh, you attempt to do it again and again.

Today you walk by women at the pool, wave and say “hiiiii”. Lady killer.

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Henry, I wish you all the happiness, smiles, stomach-aching laughter, Curious George marathons and trucks you could ever want. I hope your love for learning and getting laughs never ends. I love you forever and ever and always. I love being your Ma.

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{Justine/Ma}

jewelry and closet organization

sometimes you need a quick and easy project to get your creative juices flowing and have a victory when things aren’t going so well on other projects. this was mine. the master closet is fine, not great, but the organization is definitely lacking with only wire shelves and two angled walls not being utilized. i had an overflowing jewelry box with necklaces that kept getting tangled, and in a corner of the closet a pile of worn-but-will-wear-again clothes (like a pair of jeans, pjs and a robe) and small pile of special-wash laundry. so i put to work one of the angled walls for a jewelry display and clothes/laundry organizer.

here’s the non-utilized wall before:

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i made a jewelry display by stapling leftover fabric i had around a bulletin board and adding leftover nailhead trim (from this tv stand redo).

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once it was hung on the wall i added hooks below for my re-wears and a ‘dipped’ basket from homegoods for my special wash laundry.

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the pretty turquoise and brass hooks are from anthropologie (no longer on their website).

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i used t pins to hang my necklaces, bracelets and hanging earrings.

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for my stud earrings i simply stuck them in the cork carefully. i don’t have many studs, and some started to bend when i pushed them in, so i might pick up a ceramic egg crate to put them in instead , along with rings and such, and keep it on my dresser.

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before and after:

before and after

hopefully we’ll upgrade the closet system one day, but for now this quick little project not only upped the organization but also glammed it up a little (even though it’s a closet it still deserves some love) — and gave me a sense of accomplishment, finally.

{justine}

29

i am officially in my last year of youth. i turned 29 on wednesday, and i have to admit, it’s kind of a hard birthday for me, with it being the last year in my 20’s. sorry to all you old folks (i.e. older than 29) out there, but 30 is old. so therefore 29 is like thisclose to being old. despite not being happy with being one year closer to being old, i had the best day. one my best birthdays in memory.

my day began with getting the best present ever from my boys – a fancy new mac book! it was a complete, awesome surprise. then i treated myself and henry to breakfast from a bakery (diets don’t count on birthdays), followed by a good walk around one of our new favorite parks (to counter-act the non-diet day). then, then, i got to go to ikea, by myself, thanks to my sister and her boyfriend who were in town (!) and babysat. no whining kid complaining that i’m taking too long. no husband complaining i’m taking too long. it was marvelous. (you guys, so much good stuff there.) once i was finally home, i was sung happy birthday by my nephew via facetime and then headed to a delicious dinner to celebrate my birthday and my sister’s graduation from college. after dinner there was cake, of course, and i was showered with more love and awesome presents. i didn’t have much on my wish list, but i sure got everything i wanted and more. it was a perfect day. here’s hoping for a great 29th year!IMG_1270

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{justine}