home tour tuesday: the study

Other than the nursery, this is the only room we have painted. We chose to paint it the Benjamin Moore match to Restoration Hardware’s Silver Sage.

This room used to be our second guest bedroom. It had a queen size four-poster bed in it and it was so great to have a second room where guests could sleep. Then we found out we’d be turning our former study into the nursery. We considered not having a study, but because Todd has to work so often on the weekends and because blogging has become such a big hobby of mine, we knew that we needed a space for all of these activities other than a nook in our bedroom.

So we turned the study into the nursery and the second guest bedroom into the study. Our house has four bedrooms, but we just use one as a study/home office.

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The desk was mine in high school and I still love it. I bought the file cabinet to match last year. They’re both from a company called British Traditions and we found them at Market, of course. Can’t beat the wholesale prices.

On my desk, I have the computer, the baby monitor, a return address stamp, two mail sorters, a lamp, and my Junior League binder.

The cafe shelves above the desk are from Ballard Designs and allow us to get some of the junk off of the desk. Desk clutter stresses me out– like any clutter does– so I’m loving these shelves. I wish they’d had an antique white to match the desk and file cabinet, but I like having a few different finishes in the room.

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When we installed the shelves, I finally had a place to display all of my wedding coffee table books that Todd loves so much!

The little round table is the Terrific Table from Ballard Designs and I recently purchased the Terrific Table Burlap Fringe table cloth. Ballard is such a great resource for these items because the table cloths fit the tables perfectly and you don’t have to have something custom made.

Because we weren’t too excited about losing our second guest bed, we decided to get a chair and a half. So we have this large, super comfy chair and ottoman. We can wheel the ottoman out of the way and the chair unfolds into a twin bed. The mattress is paper thin, but it does work for an extra place for someone to sleep when we have lots of overnight guests. (Last fall we had 11 people in our house at once — not including Todd and me– so we were so thankful to have that four-poster bed.) The mirror and lamp came from a company called Uttermost– also found at Market in Atlanta.

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We picked up the sisal rug from Strobler, a local furniture store.

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The two stacked baskets hold all of my wedding binders and resources, but keep them hidden nicely.

The chifferobe has been mine since I was 2 years old and moved into my first “big girl” room. It has moved approximately 9 times (between family moves and my apartment to house moves), so I had it refinished and repaired right before we got married. It is an excellent source of storage and currently holds all of my scrapbooking materials, ribbons, markers, and all of my wedding-related coffee table books. There is also a tiny TV in the small cabinet and it is so cozy to sit in that big chair to watch TV on a rainy day.

So now you’ve seen our study/home office. And now you know where I’m sitting when I write all of these posts! Where do you do your blogging?

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it’s my anniversary! here’s a giveaway!

It’s my 2 year blogiversary! Let’s celebrate!

Two years ago I started this blog as a means to write about my wedding planning process and keep our friends and family in the loop. Two years, 451 posts, a wedding, a baby, and my own domain later it has become a great outlet for me to write about lots of different things (could I be anymore random?) and I’ve met so many great friends.

To celebrate my anniversary, I’m hosting a Blurb giveaway. Don’t you just love Blurb?!

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I am giving away 4 bookmaking codes for $59.95 to Blurb.com! This is the starting price for their new 12×12 book!

You can use the $59.95 toward whatever you wish at Blurb.com, however.

The winners will receive a bookmaking code

I did this giveaway last year and it was so much fun!

To enter, leave a comment on this post telling me what kind of Blurb book you’d make. Maybe you want a wedding guest book. It could be your wedding album. Maybe it’s a book of your baby’s photos or letters you’ve written to your baby. Or maybe you want to put all of your blog posts into a book so you can have them forever.

Honestly, I’m a little behind on my Blurb bookmaking and need to make a honeymoon book, start making baby books, and I’d like to make a book of Blue-Eyed Bride up to this point.

Also, I wanted to let you all know that Blurb is hosting its very first Best Blurb Books Contest and the winner will receive $3,000! Woot! The books will be judged in three categories: family, pet, and travel (weddings, honeymoon, and kids are obviously in the family category).

So those of you that have already created a Blurb book, you just need to order a copy of your book to be eligible! Who doesn’t want $3,000?! You can also see some pretty amazing books over on the contest website.

Here are the top 5 reasons to enter the Best Blurb Books Contest:

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Go to this link to enter! http://www.blurb.com/photo-book-contest

So enter my giveaway by leaving a comment and enter the Best Blurb Books Contest by going to the link above!

The deadline for my giveaway is Friday, October 2! Good luck!

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what we’ve been up to

WARNING: This post is definitely guilty of picture overload.

Hudson and I are still in Dallas. We miss Todd terribly, but we’re having a great time.  Here are the highlights of the past two weeks:

1. We left last Tuesday for our tour of Louisiana to see family and friends.  We stopped in Shreveport for lunch at Cheesecake Bistro with one of my very first blog friends and the author of one of my favorite blogs, Cyndi of Southern Daze.  Cyndi and I had been trying to meet up for a long time.  We “met” when she found my blog and saw that I was from Louisiana originally.  Then she found the amazingly talented Kelly Moore through my blog and realized that Kelly lives right down the road from her.  She hired Kelly to take some family photos and then our e-relationship started.  We were going to meet up last Thanksgiving, but I was suffering from severe morning all-day sickness and was in the beginning of my pregnancy.

We had so much fun on Tuesday. When I hugged her I told her that I feel like we’ve met a million times before.  How can it be possible that I feel like I know someone so well but had never met her before? She has always been such a source of encouragement and inspiration for me. If you don’t read her blog, you should. I’m looking forward to the next time we get together!

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2. We continued on to Ruston, Louisiana and Quitman, Louisiana to visit with my mom’s brother and his family. My cousin and her sweet baby girl were also in town, so it was a lot of fun watching the babies meet for the first time. Lily, her daughter, is 8 months old and is a ball of energy and all about playing. She was so into Hudson, but he is still only rolling over and only occasionally reaching to grab things.  He wasn’t much of a playmate for Lily.

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3. When we left Ruston and Quitman a couple of days later, we travelled on to Baton Rouge where we visited with my great-aunt and got to see my other cousin and her husband for a few minutes. We also visited with some great family friends down there. And, of course, we didn’t hesitate to eat as much amazing food as possible.

We left Baton Rouge and went to New Orleans for the afternoon to see my mom’s best friend and her beautiful house and have lunch.

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When we left New Orleans, we drove back to Ruston so Hudson could attend his first Louisiana Tech football game and hang out with his Uncle Walker (my brother). We also met up with one of my bridesmaids and her sister at Waffle House the morning after the game. A baby should experience Waffle House at a young age, right?

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4. We came back to Dallas on Sunday night, and on Monday we met Mrs. Preppy and her precious baby girl, A.  They came over for dinner and a play date.  Again, A was great at playing, but Hudson was still just interested in lying there and babbling. The babbling is adorable, by the way. So glad we got to meet these two.  I wish we lived closer so the babies could play more often! 

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5. On Tuesday night, I got to participate in the infamous Champagne Thursday– yes, on Tuesday– at Dali with Mojito Maven, Kate, Maggie, and Slynnro. These girls are so much fun and, again, I wish I lived closer so I could play more often!

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6. Last night, I had dinner with my best friends, Catherine and Jennifer.  Of course we had a fantastic time. Fortunately, we had just seen each other for a weekend in Columbia, so we were able to do lots of chatting with having to do a lot of “catching up.” I miss these girls so much! Unfortunately, we still don’t have a picture of Jennifer and Hudson!

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 7.  And you must see Hudson with his KK.  She and Poppie love him so much!

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so what are you doing?

We had a great week last week as we traveled through the state of Louisiana and visited so many wonderful friends and family members. It was great catching up with everyone and I’m thrilled that Hudson was able to meet so many people who love him.

I also enjoyed talking to everyone about motherhood and this new part of my life.  There were, however, a few moments when I felt like I just didn’t have an answer to the questions.  I’m a stay-at-home-mom now and stay really busy all day long taking care of Hudson and making sure all of his needs are met. 

When I was talking to some of our friends this week, a few of them asked, “Well, what are you doing now?”

This was right after I told them I quit my job at the end of July and decided to stay home with Hudson. I told  them again, though, when they asked the question. “I’m staying home with Hudson.”

“Yeah, but what are you doing?”

Hmm…. “Well, I’m feeding, burping, changing, playing, rocking, cleaning bottles, making bottles, feeding, burping, changing, playing, rocking, etc.”

“No, but what else are you doing?”

See what I mean? I just don’t know how to answer the question.  I chose to stay home because I wanted to be the one at home with our baby.  Occasionally I have to go to a doctor’s appointment or I go get my hair cut and highlighted.  I take him with me to the store and we’re at the point when we are bringing him to dinner with us instead of staying in all the time.

The question got me thinking about what it is I’m doing.  Don’t get me wrong. I’m 100% happy and content about my decision to stay home with Hudson.  But should I be doing something else? 

I’m not working from home in a way that I get a paycheck.  I’m not a runner.  That would take up a lot of time and be a really healthy hobby. 

I am in the Junior League and am about to get really busy with my placement.  (I’m on Holiday Market Tickets again this year as the Co-Vice Chair.) We’re involved with our Sunday school class and enjoy all of the time we spend with our friends.

I guess the question just caught me off guard.  I didn’t feel defensive, but I did question myself and my self-worth. Isn’t it crazy how one person can make you feel that way? I love my life and I love how I spend my day. I am so much happier every day than I was six months ago when I was completely stressed out. I felt like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders with everything I was trying to get done at work between all of the events, the budgets, and teaching classes that I wasn’t getting paid to teach.  Life is good and I love what I do. I don’t have exciting stories to tell about crazy things happening at work– and I had lots of those stories when I was working.  But I do get to spend my day with my precious boy and know that it’s making me happier than the way I was spending my days before June 5, 2009.

This post isn’t about being a stay-at-home-mom. It’s about my insecurities and my worry about what people think.  When I was working, I always worried that someone would think that my job wasn’t good enough or think that being an event planner at a University wasn’t a real job.  I didn’t make a lot of money doing it and I knew that. It always hurt my feelings when people were surprised to find out that I have a Masters degree to do my job. 

I think I’ve felt this way since I got out of college. I was really involved in everything in college and always had something going on. Or I was the President of something else. When I got out of grad school and started working, there weren’t many other responsibilities.

I just need to get over it and feel proud about all of the things that I am.

I’m a wife.  A mother.  A daughter.  A friend.  A sister.  And I’m a blogger. No, I’m not getting paid to do any of these things. I like to cook, organize, decorate, shop, read, and blog.  I’m looking forward to exercising again, but still have some physical limitations there. I’m also looking forward to using this time at home to figure out to turn my long term goals into a reality.  In the meantime, the answer to the question, “What are you doing now?” is simple. I’m taking care of the relationships in my life and creating a loving home for my family.

Does anyone else feel this way? Are you at a place in your life where you feel fulfilled but have a hard time convincing others that you are, in fact, fulfilled?

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