Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Happy Birthday to....


People say that you will never understand how much you can love a child until you have your own. Even though I will not experience that until next spring, I can honestly say that the amount of love that I have for this little dude fills my heart to the brim and I cannot believe that he has been around for seven years already! Where does the time go?

Kyle, you're a bright spot in so many dull days and I wish that we lived closer to you to enjoy your antics more often. You're goofy, silly ways make everyone laugh and I have a hard time not giggling when your mom scolds you (probably because whatever you did or said to get in trouble was hilarious to start with). You're the world's best cuddle monkey and have moments of sweetness that could melt anyone's heart. We might be a few states away, but today we are celebrating the boy that you are and the boy that you are becoming. It won't be long before you have new little cousins who will look up to you and think that you are the coolest boy in the world (aside from your brother of course). We hope you enjoy your big day and that #7 is a special one. We love you, kiddo!

And just for fun... here's a little look back:

Just look how small you were! How can you possibly be SEVEN already??? I know your mother is thinking the same thing!

There's that grin that I've always loved... it's the one that makes us wonder what mischievous ideas are going on up in that little noggin of yours.

Oh those big brown eyes... how they let you get away with anything!

You make me laugh. End of story.

Kyle and Uncle J-Money (who is so cool... I believe he rocks the world and plays in the pool?). The two of you together is a dangerous combination!

We love you so much, Kyle and we can't wait to see you again soon! Have a happy day, buddy!

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Blast from the Past

Who knew that my "pomping" skills from high school and college would come in handy one day?

A few weeks ago (yes, this post is out of order... hence the reason why people are wearing shorts and flip-flops in the photos) was Small Town USA's High School Homecoming. When my high school had homecoming, I do remember making floats but it was limited to just the students. Imagine my surprise when I found out that our very own Crossroads Community Church would be putting a float in the homecoming parade, too! The theme was "movies" this year, so we built an Oscar on the red carpet for the front of the float, stars from Hollywood Blvd. (with the players' names on them of course) as the background, and a big Crossroads sign and logo on the back. Although I never saw it finished, I'd say that our group of volunteers did a pretty darn good job... granted, their pomping needs some work, but we can't all be professionals. And I was also surprised to see that nobody was checking to make sure everyone did the required number of hours.... ohhhhh sorority life, how silly so much of it seems now!
Our float didn't win (which was expected) and sadly I had to work during the parade. My husband told me that it was all of four minutes long, but what can you expect in a town of 4,000 people, right? Now that I know that we can take part, I have a full year to train these folks on some REAL float making. I feel like the 2010 float might have moving parts, paper mache, and perhaps music coming from it.

Or not.
Although it was nice to be reminded of the "good ol' days," it only made me understand that I am truly in the midst of the best days I've encountered. My life has come so far since high school and college and has improved in every aspect. I have a husband who loves me, a roof over my head (and an amazing one at that!), a faith that is continuing to grow, a job that allows me to work from home, a family that I can count on, two dogs that drive me nuts but show unconditional love, and of course, the little peanut who is due to arrive in March.

But even so, when our kids grow up and think that building their homecoming float is the most important thing in the world, I'll just smile and tell them to "go have fun." Because the real treat is finding out years down the road that the best is still yet to come.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Dear Baby,

Mommy is sorry that she keeps putting off painting your room, but you need to understand where I'm coming from. The previous owners thought that it would be super fun to paint your room a hideous orange sponge-painted mess... even the ceiling. As if that wasn't bad enough, they then proceeded to paint the window frames, doors, and base boards hunter green, and once you learn your colors you will understand that those two colors do not really go together. On top of that, they chose to leave screws in all of the walls as well as some damage that Mommy and Daddy get to spackle. Do not worry however, because we still have plenty of time before your arrival to get it all squared away. But just so you know what we're dealing with, here are a couple of pictures for your viewing pleasure (someday)...

Exhibit A and B... what were they thinking???

On the plus side, we have picked a bright, happy shade of green to put on the walls and will be painting your base boards, doors, and window frames dark brown to match the bedding we have picked out for you. When you arrive in March, you will have a room full of the cutest little monkeys dancing around you and keeping you happy. Since Mommy and Daddy both liked it so much, we knew that you will, too, no matter if you're a boy or a girl (and we can hardly wait to find out in just a few more weeks!). So stay tuned for an update of your NEW wall colors, which will hopefully get done by the end of the month. We can't wait for you to get here to enjoy the home we have made for you.

More love than you will ever know,
Mom and Dad

Oh and PS - Even though I signed this letter that way, you are not allowed to drop the -my and -dy from our names until you are at least eighteen. That is the first rule we have for you. :)

PSS - Kick me harder... I still can't feel it and am waiting everyday for you to say "hello"!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Oh the entertainment...

So what does one do when bored in a small town? Torture the hound dogs of course! For as much of a pain they can both be, they owe it to us for some mindless entertainment, don't you think?

Minnie wasn't much fun at first... she just looked at us like we were crazy. Then again, she probably has a point.

Teeny, on the other hand, wore this towel around the house like a cape for a solid 4 or 5 hours. It figures... she thinks she's a princess anyway. We only took it off of her because it was a little bit too big. Am I that much of a crazy person to custom make a smaller cape for her? Hopefully not, but we are considering ordering jackets to get them through the Illinois winter!

And to top it off (no pun intended), this look didn't last too long. She was NOT a fan and you can tell by the look on her face.And to think that in 5 months we'll have a baby to entertain us! Poor kid... :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Debut of "The Bump"

Life is changing here in Mauneyland and a new life is on the way. Baby Mauney is about 17 weeks along now and according to what we've read, is about 5 inches long and 5 ounces in weight. Somehow that does not calculate into the 10+ pounds that I've already gained, but I'm just keeping the little peanut happy!

Things have been going pretty smoothly and the little one hasn't caused too much trouble so far. Aside from a little bit of exhaustion in the first trimester, I haven't been sick at all and have been feeling great! There is a part of me that feels a tad guilty about that considering I know many other pregnant ladies who aren't so lucky, but I thank good genetics for that blessing! I spent the first three months wanting to eat only pizza and Italian food, and thankfully that has since past. Actually, I might have overdone it because now that stuff just isn't appetizing (and we have a freezer full of it!). The change in my appetite is that my usual love for Mexican food has turned into a complete aversion and I can't even stand the sight of a taco. Thankfully that seems to be passing, too, but the it's coming back very slowly. Even though I don't want it, I miss my Mexican food... it doesn't make any sense at all! I've also definitely noticed that my equilibrium has shifted and I trip and fall much more easily than before, which is sad considering that I was already a klutz to start with! Oh the joys of being pregnant!

As for the gender, we still have a few weeks to wait. Josh and I went from "maybe we'll wait until we have the baby to find out" to "maybe we'll find out and just not tell anyone" and now we're in the "tell us NOW!!!!" stage. We both still feel like our little peanut might be a boy, but we'll be excited either way. I think finding out will make it a little more real for us and will help us envision being a family. This baby is already loved more than either one of us could ever imagine and we look forward to the day that we can hold our little peanut in our arms... what a joyous occasion that will be!

In the meantime, we are enjoying the little milestones... hearing the heartbeat for the first time, picking out crib bedding, and watching the belly get bigger and bigger. Someone told me today that I "look big for 17 weeks" and although I don't have much to compare it to, I agree. Although I am proud to still be wearing my pre-pregnancy jeans (well, barely!), I think I am just keeping the baby happy. And thankfully, my sister saw this picture (she's 8 weeks ahead of me) and disagreed... thank you, big sister! Now we are just looking forward to the day that I feel a little tiny kick and that should be happening any time now! I look at my belly at least once a day and say "okay little one, kick mama," but so far I haven't felt anything. It's the only time in this child's life that kicking mama is actually encouraged and he or she is just not listening! We think we might have a stubborn one on our hands and we wouldn't expect anything less with us as parents! We are already head over heels in love with this little one!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A New Favorite Festival

The Midwest seems to be filled with festivals... there's the Corn Festival, the Pumpkin Festival, the Autumn Festival, the Scarecrow Festival... the list goes on and on. But when we moved to Small Town, Illinois, it was just by luck that we hit the jackpot of all of them- PAINT THE TOWN!!!

Josh and I really did not know what this day was all about, but it's the talk of the town. People from surrounding towns look forward to this event all year and 20,000 people come to this town of 5,000 to participate! There are bands and good eats like every festival should have and it all happens right on Main Street. The town blocks off Main Street (and the surrounding streets since the event has outgrown Main Street) and paints squares all the way down the road. Anyone can buy a square and paint it however they want. The paint comes with the registration, so really you just have to show up and find your place! Kids run around absolutely covered in paint (some just paint themselves and not the square) but having a ball and the artwork ranges from a big ol' mess to complete masterpieces. By the end of the afternoon, the entire street (as well as most of the storefronts) are covered in artwork and it's certainly a sight to see. We did not purchase a square this year, but you better believe that I will be making my mark on Main Street in 2010!

Here are a few photos and a short (but very well done) video of the event... they do it much more justice than my description ever could!

And Josh's favorite part of the day? Having an office on Main Street which allowed him to meet EVERYONE who walked by. That's my boy!

Oh how we love the small town life!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Bathroom Reveal

Remember how I mentioned a month ago that the Bathroom Before and After photos would be posted soon? Well, what I have learned since then is that projects go much slower than I anticipate. At first we were only going to paint the bottom half, but once I got the paint on the walls it made me not like the upper half... it figures. And in my mind, I was going to get much more than painting done. For example, I would love to do that spray paint technique on the light fixtures that makes them look like antique bronze, but so far I'm not finding very good instructions on the Internet. If anyone knows how to do that, let me know. Also, we're eventually going to re-tile the floor, but that's way down the road I think. Actually, if we had it our way we'd knock out a wall and expand into one of the bedrooms to create a combination big bathroom and laundry room. Maybe one day... *sigh*.
As a simple disclaimer (and as any of you know who have tried to do a before and after post before), colors do not really show up well on a simple point and shoot digital camera. These posts will be much better and more vibrant once my husband gets me a fancy digital SLR camera for Christmas (hint, hint)! It's never too early to start thinking up ideas, right?
So since this is as finished as the bathroom will be for awhile, we're going to consider it as DONE and move on! So here it is...

Boring and very lame before

Warm and cozy after... and yes, a bathroom should be warm and cozy Afterall, it is visited daily.

And from the other side before... BOOOORRRRING

And after. As dumb as it sounds, my favorite feature is the little cubby hole for the towels. On a whim I painted it, and I love the results

These pictures do the colors no justice. The bottom half is actually a REALLY dark, bright teal (actually, the paint color is literally called "Really Teal" and the top is a khaki color (Sherwin-Williams "Latte")

Next up? The baby's room (and I couldn't be MORE excited to start)!!! But don't expect a post on that one for quite awhile... we have A LOT of work to do!

Needless to say, I am not expecting HGTV to call me anytime in the near future!