Sunday, March 24, 2013

This week

"In our culture it is very popular to seek truth.  It is not popular to find it."

This week is my favorite week of the year.  I haven't made very many Easter traditions for our family yet but Luci is old enough now to have some fun traditions.  Obviously we will do an Easter basket and egg hunt but I'm looking for other personal traditions.  Do you guys have any fun ideas for me?  

Hope you all have a fantastic Sunday!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Happy Ending

And now for the ending to the story I started this weekend.  Here is Part 1 if you didn't read how it started.

I was so relieved that a thyroid problem was all I had to worry about... remember, no giant tape worm eating my insides.  My levels were so crazy that we were having a bit of trouble getting my dosage and type of medication right, but each month with a new dose and change from Armor to Levo we were getting closer and closer to that happy range.  In the meantime we were starting to get the itch.  You know the one.  Luci is getting older, we are getting older, and my internal clock was going off once again.  

We started trying for our second baby.  (Don't you hate it when people tell you they are trying.  You're probably like "I know what you're doing!!")  When we "tried" with Luci it didn't take much.  I mean I literally went off birth control and then we were pregnant.  Kyle felt a little ripped off if you know what I mean!  

After we had been trying for quite some time I started to get nervous.  I decided to go ahead and see an OB that has experience with the beginning stages of fertility testing.  It seemed that I was the epitome of fertile myrtle.  The only thing that wasn't perfect was my thyroid levels.  At that point he recommended that Kyle get tested as well.  To any man that has had to do this, I have to laugh.  I did have a little sympathy for the awkwardness of it all but seriously, do you know what I have had done to me!??  A little alone time in a creepy room is NOTHING in comparison.

Without going into too much detail (as if I haven't already lol!) we were not given happy news.  They basically told us we had a 5% chance of getting pregnant without intervention.  The first step would be a few rounds of IUI at only a 10% chance with each try.  Then if that didn't work we would move on to IVF.  After a lot of discussion and prayer we decided this was not for us.  We already have a BEAUTIFUL biological child.  I have had the amazing experience of being pregnant, giving birth, and breast feeding. 

After a serious process of mourning I picked myself back up and decided to get excited about something else.  Adoption.  I have several friends that have/are going through the process so I felt like my resources were endless. I spoke with a friend who had done an international adoption, one who is in the process of doing a domestic adoption, and another one who has adopted several kids through the foster to adopt system.  

After a LOT of discussion and prayer we decided that our hearts were really pulled toward the foster care system.  Obviously this route is scary.  You may have several kids in and out of your home before you get one that is yours forever.  When I really thought about it I knew that I could love these kids for however long they were in my home.  I knew I would be heartbroken to have to say goodbye to ANY child but that the good was outweighing the bad.  If ANYONE is considering this route please feel free to contact me.  I have some AMAZING resources that will answer any question, no matter how scary, with no judgement and TONS of knowledge.  Trust me, I asked her some doozies and she brought up some things that really sent my head spinning.  

Anyway, this was around December.  My friend told me about a class that was starting in March and our plan was to start the process then.  Well, I finally felt at peace and even a little excited about what God had in store for me.  Wouldn't you know it the very next month I was SICK.  I had the flu for 2 weeks and was miserable.  My husband had invited some friends over to watch the Broncos playoff game against the Ravens (let's not relive that horror) and I was feeling pretty good, but definitely not perfect.  As I was getting ready for everyone to come over it hit me.  I ran upstairs, peed on a stick and stared at it in disbelief... Pregnant.  I could practically hear God saying "You can tell everyone to take that 5% chance and shove it up their A@$, I'm in charge in this house."  

Coincidentally my doctor called me the next day to give me my latest blood test results.  This was the first month in a year and a half that my TSH levels were not only in the NORMAL range (between .4 and 4) but they just so happened to make it all the way down to the IDEAL range for conception (between 1 and 2).  Now, this isn't why we were given a 5% chance, but to me, this was just another way God was showing just what he could do. 

 Now, Kyle was full of funny reactions but my favorite was, "I demand a recount."  To be honest I was a little surprised by my reaction.  I was ecstatic of course, but a part of me was sad.  I had really gotten excited about the foster to adopt process.  It was like I had mourned a loss, and then celebrated a new plan, and then mourned the loss of that plan all while celebrating what I thought was my original loss.  Did I loose you there??  Yeah, that's about how I felt.  

Now that the roller coaster has slowed (a bit) I am just in awe. Maybe Kyle's test results were misread, maybe getting my thyroid hormones in order bumped us into pregnancy land, maybe the tape worm eating my insides decided to leave, or maybe getting my mind off of fertility and on to adoption relieved the stress.  I don't really know.  What I do know is that I have talked to countless women who have gone through this.  Some with great results and some with not so great.  I can't explain why this all happened (and neither can my doctor) but I can tell you that when I finally found peace with our prognosis God showed up.  He was always there, he was just waiting for me to slow down and listen.  

So there you have it.  The real reason I have been absent.  Here's to hoping my "flu" goes away soon now that I'm in my second trimester!  I told you this story had a happy ending:)

Saturday, March 16, 2013


have been absent lately.  Not just from this blog but from life in general.  It is for a good reason, or should I say the best reason possible. Let me start from the beginning.  

Let me preface this post by saying I am sharing this story because it has changed my perspective on things and I know there are TONS of women who can relate. I have found countless people who have been in this situation.  It seems like more people then not to be honest, and knowing I wasn't a freak of nature made it a little easier.  

It all started when I was pregnant with Luci.  She was small throughout the pregnancy and I wasn't gaining enough weight.  She was healthy and so was I, we just needed some fattening up.  I was on a diet of shakes, french fries, and cheeseburgers but I only managed to gain 20 pounds... and it was work!  I lost the baby weight fast too.  Like super fast.  A month after having Luci I was back to my pre baby weight, but it didn't stop there.  I chalked it up to breast feeding, stress, and a SWEET metabolism. I basically thought I was one of those women that all other women hate.  You know the one, that girl that can eat cake every day and still manages to loose weight.  I wasn't going to complain.

Well, when I quit breastfeeding after Luci was 9 months old and continued to loose weight I was a little confused.  I mean, I literally hadn't seen the inside of a gym in a year and I was now 20 pounds under my pre baby weight.  You guys, I was literally 105 pounds.  That is not pretty, let me tell you.  About a year after Luci was born my sister (a P.A. and concerned family member) came to visit me.  She took one look at me and said, you look like CRAP!  That week she convinced me to go see a doctor.  Reluctantly I made the appointment.  After alleviating the obvious fears of cancer, lupus, a HUGE tape worm consuming all of my calories, the doctor diagnosed me with Hypothyroidism.  Yep you heard me right.  HYPO not HYPER. I know this is counter intuitive.  One of the symptoms of hypothyroidism is usually weight gain.  Well, my numbers were off the charts.  The normal levels of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone)are between .4 and 4.  Mine was 34.  Apparently when most people are diagnosed with this their levels are slightly high, not 34. The Dr. explained that after Luci was born, and possibly during pregnancy, I had developed HypERthyroidism.  During the year after she was born it continued until my thyroid just quit.  It had enough and up and quit on me, leaving me with HypOthyroidism.  This explained the weight loss and why I was still SO tired even though Luci was sleeping through the night. 

Apparently this is a pretty common thing.  Tons of women develop hypothyroidism after pregnancy.  The good news, some of the times the thyroid goes on vacation and then comes back.  It just one day decides it is ready to work again.  This isn't the case with every person but I can keep my fingers crossed.  Meanwhile, it just means a small pill every morning and $4 a month. There is no threat of death, or my hair falling out, and it sure as hell beats a huge tape worm in my stomach.  I was relieved to say the least.

Unfortunately and very very fortunately the story doesn't end there.  Part 2... and the BEST part comes next.  

I would like to state that I am not a medical professional.  This is just my story.  I am telling it because it is a happy one with a VERY happy ending. I have met countless women in my shoes that don't get the same results.  Mine is just a story of hope... and maybe a little bit of faith:)

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Beach Time

Off to North Captiva, where I plan to do nothing but look at this.  Chow for now!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

My Mom Can Sew

Another project I totally forgot to show you.  As you can tell, we did this over Christmas (hence the tree in the background).  My mom sewed me this ADORABLE lampshade cover... I am kind of a slave driver I guess.  She watches my kids, does my sewing, and somehow finds time to eat:)  Thanks mom!  I LOVE this lamp.  Like seriously love it.  What do you think?

Hope you are all blessed to have an amazing mother like I do!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


I totally forgot to show you guys this dresser.  It sold a while ago but it is so darn cute I thought I should share.  

One of the perks of working at The Barn once a week is that people bring you awesome stuff.  People are always coming in asking if anyone wants to buy their old crap.  Well, most of the time it is just that, crap, but once in a while you get a little gem.  A lady came in and my friend Pat was working.  She brought a picture of a really plain dresser.  Pat, the wise woman she is, looked past its simplicity and gave her my phone number.  Believe it or not this dresser was turned down by quite a few other vendors.  Yay for me right?!  She texted me a picture and dropped it off the next day.  I loaded it up, with the assistance of my friend Amanda... once again, she saves the day, and took it strait home. 

The dresser was literally just white with little tiny white knobs.  I liked the clean lines and planked top and sides.  I took it home and sanded the CR&* out of it.  Seriously my arms were numb by the end of all that sanding.  Then I popped out all of the little white knobs, drilled new holes and put these adorable cup knobs on.  After just a few hours of work I think it is one of my favorite dressers ever.  It lasted less then a week at The Barn and found a new home with an expecting mommy.  I was not surprised it left so quickly:)

See, sometimes simple is best.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Am I Turning Red?

 I do a lot of embarrassing things.  Just ask my best friend Heather.  She could entertain you for a week with stories of my embarrassing moments.  This time, I did something SO embarrassing that I just had to share.  It is one of those moments that you replay 100 times in your head, trying to figure out how you could possibly be THAT awkward of a person.  I just have to accept that I am who I am, and that's all that I am.

So here it goes, confession time:

My mom was supposed to watch Luci for me but she had a vet appointment for her dog Chester.  It was in a convenient location so I just said I would meet her there and drop Luci off.  I had been there ONE other time and met her very nice, VERY shy veterinarian ONCE.  I can't remember his name so we will call him Steve.  Well, I walked in about half way through the exam.  I stood quietly while my mom finished up.  

When the appointment was over Steve said it was nice to see me again and  walked towards me with his arm extended at about shoulder level. As he approached me my mind was racing.  Is he going to shake my hand?  Nope, his arm is up way too high for that.  Well, in my panic and awkwardness I did the only logical thing I could think of... I hugged him.  I mean what would you do if someone walked at you with their arm extended at shoulder level????!!!!!  As I wrapped my arm around poor, unsuspecting Steve's waist (going with the awkward side hug of course) I heard the click.  And then it hit me.  Nope, he was NOT going in for the hug, he was just opening the door that I happened to be standing in front of!!!!!!!!!  Yep, I just hugged poor Steve.  A man I have met once... and plan on NEVER seeing again.  

I about died.  I don't think I have stopped laughing since.  Have you guys ever seen the episode of Friends where Rachel kisses her boss???  Yeah, it was that bad.  So, needless to say, I will not be hugging perfect strangers anymore.  Or at least I will try not to!!!  But if we ever see each other in public, just know, I'm awkward and unpredictable.  Fair warning.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Blame My Gypsy Soul

You will have to forgive my absence lately, I have had a CRAP ton going on.  All good, fun things, but time consuming none-the-less.  Well, I wanted to show you the new shirts I have for sale at The Barn:

I love them.  Seriously, I'm obsessed.  Check out how cute my friend Amanda looks in it!

She is one hot mama!  Plus she gave me the idea to have these shirts made... so really I owe her... Like seriously owe her.  So, if you ever need a kidney or anything let me know Amanda.

I love my job.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Adventures in Toddlerhood

Do you guys remember the show "Kids Say The Darndest Things" with Bill Cosby?  Well, sometimes I feel like I live in one of these episodes.  My life is hilarious.  Let me give you an example.

Luci has been potty training.  I thought she would never get there, maybe she would still be in diapers when she went off to college, but one day she just up and decided she was ready.  The doctor told me not to push her because she is so "spirited."  Ummmm by spirited she means stubborn, but it was nice of her to say it so gently.  So, I listened and didn't push.

One day she saw me getting dressed and pointed her cute little finger at me and said "Mommy what's that."  Oh Crap, is she pointing at the scars where my belly button piercing used to be and now I have to talk about bad decisions we made when we were young? Is she pointing at my c-section scar and I'm about to have to explain where babies come from?  Phew, nope, she was pointing at my undies.  Crises was overrated.  Right then and there she decided she wanted to wear them too.  So we did.  With only a few accidents and tears later she finally got the idea.  In her exact words, "We don't peepee on mommy's floor or in the bathtub."  She's one smart cookie.

Well, daddy got her up from nap this weekend and when she came downstairs she just looked so sad.  I asked her why she had a pouty face and she told me this...

"Mommy, I went number twoski in my pants."  I about wet my own pants laughing.  Obviously she has been talking to daddy too much.  

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

No One Puts Baby in a Corner

Unless baby is this super cute corner cabinet.  I actually redid this cabinet this summer but it has been living downstairs at The Barn and serving as the snack cabinet.  Well, we are rearranging the downstairs area so I went ahead and brought this awesome piece upstairs to the shop, so I guess that means it is officially for sale:)  There is just something about a corner cabinet that makes me happy, with all of its space saving awesomeness.

 The cabinet didn't have a back so I decided to do chicken wire.  I originally planned to go with burlap but I'm glad I stuck with the chicken wire.  There is just something so country and sweet about it.  

Do you guys have the same love for all things fitting in the corner??  OR am I alone in this obsession?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

License Plate

This Christmas my family all agreed that we would not get each other anything. We are going on a trip in March... and I am counting down the days... so we figured that would be our present.  Well, of course I couldn't resist having just a little something under the tree for my parents to open.  Let me show you what I made my mom.  

First let me start by saying that my parents are horse people.  They have 2 horses at their house... ok maybe not AT their house but down at the barn at their house.  This is why Luci is OBSESSED with horses.  It is out of control really.  She can already sit by herself on Slimmy and hold on to his mane while he walks.  How many 2 year olds have a pony... I mean really.  Can you say SPOILED!  

Anyway, I found this old rusty license plate holder at Goodwill for $2 and decided my mom had to have it.  At first I thought she would just put it on her car but then I decided it would be WAY cuter as a cork board.  So, I added a rope to hang it, some cork wrapped in burlap and some cute push pins:

So for $2 (because I already had the other supplies) my mom had a cute little present under the tree to open... because everyone should get to open at least one present on Christmas:)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

What Do I Call This Thing?

I had a request over Christmas to make... well, I have no idea what to call this thing so we will call it a display board, sound good to you?  A girl sent me this picture and asked if it was something I would be able to make:

I love everything about this mantle, and that display board is pretty darn cool.  You could even use it year round and just switch out the seasonal decor. Of course I took one look at it and said "SURE! Why not."  

So, off I went to the Home Depot with dimensions in hand.  I basically wandered around the lumber section until I found boards that were about the right width.  Then, because Kyle was out of town and I really like all of my fingers, I stood in front of the saw area until a poor un-expecting employee happened by.  Then I flashed my best, friendliest smile and said "can you please help me cut something?"  (and by something I really meant like 6 somethings:)  The kind man stood there with me and cut it all, without even one complaint. I love my Home Depot friends:)  I skipped my way on home, and started assembling.  I basically just attached the boards with 2 2"x2" boards running vertically along the back.  I painted, then distressed and was pretty darn happy with the final product:

And, because I hate to be wasteful, I used the scraps to make a 2nd display board for the shop.  This time they weren't all exactly the same length, because I decided to take mercy on the Home Depot man, plus I think it looks cute both ways:)  See:

(Obviously the Christmas Sale is over lol)

Hope you all have a fantastic week!
(P.S. this is not a sponsored post.  I just genuinely love my peeps at the Depot.)

Mercantile Muse

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Brooch Bouquet

Remember how I told you that The Barn is part of the Castle Rock Wedding District as of late?  I have decided to jump on the band wagon and carry a few wedding items in my shop.   

Well, I have had a CRAP TON of vintage brooches and earrings sitting in my basement.  Or should I say HAD.  I have seen these online and actually in one of my cousin's weddings.  They are gorgeous, unique, and seriously heavy!  I took a few/many many hours and put together this little brooch bouquet:

  If only Pinterest had been around when I got married... never mind I'm glad it wasn't.  I would have tried to do WAY too much!

I love the unique beauty of it but there is one flaw... it is HEAVY.  SO, if you are planning on throwing a bouquet during your reception this would not be the right choice for you.   Unless you are aiming for that one girl you really didn't want to be there!  

It was surprisingly simple to put together, just very time consuming.  My biggest recommendation is that you should use 2 floral wires per brooch.  Otherwise they get all limp and saggy. And trust me, nobody likes a limp, saggy bouquet!  I used tons of floral wire and floral tape and then wrapped the stem in ribbon and lace.  No joke, there are over 50 brooches/earrings in this thing.  The best part, you get to keep it forever.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


I hit another EPIC estate sale yesterday.  It was one of my favorites ever.  Unfortunately I showed up 5 minutes after the doors opened and the hoarders... I mean other customers, had already swiped up a ton of the items I wanted.  I did manage to fend off some of the crowd and swipe up some goods of my own.  I kid you not, it was like a feeding frenzy in there.  People are cut throat!

Check out the goods:

Check out this awesome birdcage stand.  I think I will use it for hanging plants. 

Some gorgeous linens.

Vintage silverware

I love this quilt.  It seriously has no flaws! I'm pretty sure it was shoved in a closet somewhere for many many years.

Ok, I know he is ugly, but I love him.  His stick legs and antlers, his painted on eyes, and rope halter make me love him in all of his ugly reindeer glory.

These adorable vintage rocking horses, sigh.

I know this rooster isn't for everyone, but him and the reindeer should probably be together forever.

I love this rusty old red and white scale.  It is so farmhousey and sweet.

This awesome vintage dress form.  I have been on a hunt for one for months.  I almost ran to her and hugged her when I saw her sitting there across the room.  We were meant to be.

Check out this gorgeous primitive dough bowl.  mmmmmm... perdy.  

And now, my crowning glory.  A CRAP TON of awesome antique spools.  I love how they look in my awesome primitive bowl.  It's a match made in estate sale heaven.  

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My New Powder Room

I really haven't showed you guys any of our recent home repair projects... partially because we haven't done any lately, and partially because most of our projects are half done.  Well, I am proud to say that the hubs and I took this weekend and busted out our tiny powder room in our mud room.  With very little arguing and only a few cocktails, we managed to bust this thing out in a day and a half and only $250.  Not too shabby.

Lets start with some befores so you can see the level of crappy we were working with.

Mmmmmm, walpaper and nasty ceilings.

When we ripped the medicine cabinet off the wall we got a peak at the original color.  That's nice.

Ok, that's enough ugly for now.  Let's look at some pretty now.

Any suggestions for bathroom appropriate chalkboard quotes?  I was thinking "No Dumping Zone." or "Crap Happens."  I am open to suggestions.

OK, now for a little side by side comparison:

We didn't get a new toilet, yet somehow even our toilet looks better!

The cabinetry and sink are the same.  We just painted the cabinets and added hardware, and changed out the faucet.  I think the counter top makes all the difference!  Now I'm not painfully embarrassed when someone has to pee.

Mercantile Muse