April 08, 2019

I'm Still Alive! (Spring Break Week)

Wow! Time really flies, especially as I get older. I think the past nine days was the longest unintentional break I've taken from my blog. I assure you I am still alive and kicking ;)

My kids had spring break all last week, so they were out of school Friday afternoon all the way until yesterday, and they went back to school today. They actually weren't even home--they were gone for eight days--which was the longest I've been away from them.

My parents were vacationing in Hilton Head, SC, and the kids went down there to spend spring break with them. I took them to the airport on Saturday evening, and they flew (by themselves!) down to South Carolina, where my parents picked them up at the airport.

They were "unaccompanied minors" on Delta, so they have this whole procedure we had to do beforehand. Jerry and I went to the airport with them and waited in the slowest moving line ever, only to find out that just one parent could accompany them to the gate. Jerry insisted that I take them, but it was a bummer that we had to do it that way.

After Eli getting his backpack unloaded and searched, and me getting my body thoroughly patted down at security, we finally made it to the gate. It was so strange putting my kids on a plane and just trusting that they would make it to their destination without any problems. They are so grown up!

Noah isn't as angry or sad as he looks in this photo. Apparently, it's not cool for your mom to make you stop for pictures at the airport when you're 14 years old ;)

Anyway, Jerry and I had been planning to drive down (with Joey!) to Hilton Head for a couple of days as a surprise (to my parents and the kids), so Jerry had the entire week off of work. After talking about our plans with Brian and Becky, they suggested that we don't go down there. My mom had told them that they had plans to do a fishing charter and some other things that required reservations. I didn't want to mess up their plans with the kids, so we canceled our hotel reservation a couple of days prior.

Instead, we decided that since Jerry had the whole week off of work, we would surprise the kids by making over their bedrooms while they were gone. When I was helping Eli pack for the trip, I had the idea to widen his closet door. The closet is six feet wide, but the door was only two feet. It's always been frustrating to find clothes on each end of the closet and it was pretty much wasted space. By widening the door, we'd have access to everything much more easily.

Jerry did have to work Sunday before his week off, and I spent all day Sunday scraping the texture off of Eli's ceiling and widening the closet door. For the rest of the week, Jerry and I spent pretty much every spare moment working on the bedrooms. I'd thought it would only take us about four days total, but we were still scrambling to get everything done right up until the kids came home yesterday. (Unfortunately, it wasn't totally done... but they were completely surprised and they really liked what we did.)

The closets were the biggest change (along with the paint, which is obvious from the pictures below). I built shelves and hung dowels in the closets, which made a world of difference (both in how it looks but also in the amount of storage space. I still plan to paint the shelves, and I also need to add trim along the floorboards in the closets. After taking out part of the wall from Eli's closet, we were left with a couple of bare spots of carpet. So, Jerry took some leftover planks from the rest of the house and floored the closets with them. I love it!

These are the shelves I built at 5:00 yesterday morning. (Like I said, we were working until the very last minute). I also did some shelving for Noah's closet, but I didn't take a "before" photo of his closet because I wasn't planning to change it at first.

(I still have to hang the ceiling fans in their rooms)

Jerry and I actually had a lot of fun working on all of this. We listened to podcasts, chatted while we worked--and then ate Subway for dinner nearly every evening, hahaha. Eli is selling Subway coupons for baseball, and I was too exhausted to cook for just Jerry and me, so we took advantage of the "buy one get one free" coupons.

We did do a few fun things other than working on the kids' rooms all week, though. On Monday, Dave and Renee came over. They hadn't been over since we remodeled the house--and that's been a while. Renee invited us to their house to play Euchre with them and two other couples on Friday, so we did that as well. We drew cards to assign Euchre partners, and my partner was Dave. We ended up winning two out of three games!

Normally, I would have had a couple of drinks in that situation (everybody else was), but I brought my alcohol-free Heineken and honestly didn't even think of the fact that I wasn't drinking. It's getting easier and easier.

On Thursday, Jerry and I picked up Luke and took him to the Fox Theatre in Detroit to see a kids show called PJ Masks. It's apparently a live version of a kids TV show, which I know nothing about these days, but Luke likes it.

It was SO much fun for us to have some special time with Luke! He is absolutely adorable. He turned two years old last month, and he's in the phase where he asks questions non-stop. He especially likes to know what people are doing... "Dad doing?" "Eli doing?" "Joey doing?"

At the show, we bought him a light that spins around in circles (my mom bought each of my kids one at Sesame Street Live when they were little, and they loved them!). Luke spent just as much time playing with that as he did watching the show. He loved the songs, dancing and clapping along.

Jerry and I agreed that taking Luke out was the highlight of our week. Being an aunt is so much fun! Now that my kids are teenagers, I really wish I'd appreciated all of their younger years more than I did. The time goes by so so fast. As an aunt, I get to relive those days.

Anyway, I'm here. I'm alive. My anxiety isn't nearly as bad as it was a few weeks ago. This week is going to be all about getting back into a normal routine. It was rough this morning, waking up and getting the kids to school. I went for a long walk with my sister, who is in town for a few days, at the state park this morning. Now I have a LOT to catch up on--the laundry pile is ridiculous!


  1. Their rooms look great! And your nephew is completely adorable!

    So glad to hear you are feeling less anxious!

  2. Sounds like you guys had a very productive but fun week off. Speaking from the grandparent's perspective, I think it was a good move to change your plans. Family time is nice, but being able to do something just with the grandkids is so special, and it sounds like your parents had put a lot of thought into planning their vacation with the boys. So I'm glad you left them to enjoy it.

  3. Funny, I was just wondering about you yesterday and was thinking to myself that I should message you on FB but then thought that was weird. The boys rooms look awesome of course and I am dying over the Office pillow!

  4. You are on fire with these renovations!! Your kids are so grown up, that's so crazy to me! I think I started reading your blog in 2012? They were so little then!

    And omg is your nephew ever CUTE! So precious! Glad you had a great week!!

  5. My oldest is OBSESSED with PJ Masks! He would have loved that show! Also, Noah's The Office pillow is amazing. I'm totally coveting it. You guys did a fantastic job on their rooms!

  6. My daughter would be totally jealous of the PJMask show. That is THE show these days! Also love the bedrooms. I'm so impressed with your power tool skills!

  7. Your 14 year old's face looks like my 14 year old's face when I try to take pictures. That was great!!! Rooms are awesome.

  8. Did you have a certain tutorial you followed for the shelving? Or did you just wing it?

    1. I didn't use a tutorial, but I kept it very simple. I just bought some 1"x12" boards and cut them to the width I wanted the shelves. I used 8-ft boards vertically for the sides. And then I used a Kreg jig to screw it together with pocketholes. Nothing fancy, but it worked and it's VERY sturdy!

    2. That's awesome. Thanks for the explanation!


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