these glorious last twelve weeks

*note: this post has pretty much absolutely zero to do with anything crafty or creative or home decor or design, but rather this is me, sharing with all of you...some of whom are mamas, or soon-to-be mamas, or will-be-mamas-someday, what the last twelve weeks of maternity leave have been for me. as i start to write this, i can feel the tears welling, so if you're an emotional-type, you might want to grab some tissues. i have some next to me.

twelve weeks. nine months ago, that sounded like the biggest span of time ever. i mean, i won't have to go to work for twelve weeks? absolutely. sign me up. i can stay in my little cocoon, just me and my to-be-named son, staring at what was sure to be his gorgeous face and tending to his every need. yes, sign me up.

well, as of tomorrow, twelve weeks have come and gone. tomorrow, i go back to work. and as i reflect back on the gift that has been maternity leave, i can't help but get a little misty eyed (okay, i have total gushing tears coming down my face) at what the last twelve weeks have given me. here's some of what has meant the most to me:

1. obviously, twelve weeks ago tomorrow. at 7:45am, it all started. our son was going to make his way into the world. i got to look at noah and in the most serious voice i could muster, i asked him to please put his shoes on, that it was time to go to jenny's. when he didn't move in a swift manner, i got to have that moment with him that we had prepared him for - i got to kneel down on his level, look noah in the eyes and say, "hey bud, do you remember how mommy and daddy have told you that when it's time for your brother to come that we're going to go to the hospital? well, it's time for mommy and daddy to go to the hospital. so i really need you to go put your shoes on." the look in his eyes was priceless. and, another of the many moments i'll never forget from this day was when i drove him to jenny's. she came out to the car to get him (since my water had broken and i was waiting for mike to get home from work and i was trying to move as little as possible), and before he jumped out of the car, i grabbed his hand, and looked intently at him and said, "i love you so much, buddy." that was going to be the last time i saw him as an only child and i wanted to remember it forever.

2. feeling like kind of a bada*s during labor. i was intent on making it further with this labor before the epidural than i did with noah. and i did. call it competitiveness (or as mike puts it, "you can't tell her she can't do something because that just makes her all the more intent on doing whatever it is you're telling her she probably shouldn't do") but dang it, i was going to write a different birth story this time. and i did.
a first picture of mama + alex...minutes before the turkey

3. all of the moments with alex in the hospital. seeing noah meet alex. seeing my mom and stepdad meet alex. successfully nursing alex (another thing that i was hellbent on making happen this time around). getting to eat that first turkey sandwich (for anyone who has ever been pregnant and who likes turkey sandwiches - or any deli meat for that matter - you know what i'm talking about).

4. the amazingly awesome revolving door of family. thank you to each and every one of you. you all know who you are. and if i didn't get to express my thanks enough in those first weeks, where the fog of exhaustion and recovery clouded my brain, we love you all. 

5. figuring out how to road trip by myself with two boys. yeah, that was fun. and i was seriously glad we bought the honda pilot three years ago. and not being ashamed that there were moments where i did a roll call in the car to make sure i had two children and one dog. 

6. having sweet mornings in bed with alex. we didn't co-sleep but in some of those first weeks, it kind of felt like it. alex would wake up early, and in order to get some more sleep, i'd bring him into bed with me. he had this special spot he liked to lay in and he'd like to kind of roll towards me. okay, we were totally nose-to-nose (which someone somewhere will probably take issue with), but those mornings were so precious. he would calm as soon as he was close to me. and as a mama, that is the best feeling.

7. getting to spend a whole bunch of time on re-nest studio. i have loved this. i have forfeited sleeping when alex has slept so i could blog, do facebook, tweet, search pinterest, build my designs up, whatever. because this is my passion. i love making things that i think people will like and find unique. 
the greatest big brother we could have
ever imagined

8. seeing noah become a big brother. i had promised noah before my maternity leave that there would be some days that he would stay home with mama and alex. a lot of days, i wanted to keep some normalcy for him, so he went to day care. but some days, we stayed together. and he got to become a big brother. when alex cries, he goes to him and gives him his paci. or the best moment was when i overheard the following: "it's okay alex, noah's here. it's okay buddy." which noah got from me saying, "it's okay alex, mommy's here." melt. my. heart. 

so, as the mommy guilt feels like a ton of bricks on my chest as i look to tomorrow, i want my boys to know just how very much they make my (our) life complete. they are my sunshine. i would walk to the ends of the earth and back for them. they keep me up at night with worry and they make me exhausted, but i wouldn't trade a second of sleep for a second with them. 

i am going to guess that i will be an emotional basketcase tomorrow (it's a good thing i am going back on a thursday. just two days, then the weekend!). but i remind myself that for our family, my working is what we need. and i'll explain that more to them someday when they can understand it. 

and, i'd be a totally bummer of a wife if i didn't acknowledge the guy who got on this roller coaster ride with me. i knew seventeen years ago that he'd be the kick butt father and partner he is today. he never lets me down. he loves our boys with his whole heart. and i know that tomorrow, i'll get text messages and calls from him throughout the day, checking in on me, to make sure i'm keeping it together. and for than, i'm more than eternally grateful.

so, here's to jumping in with both feet (once again). to becoming a working mama of two boys. for taking it one day, one hour, and sometimes, one minute at a time. 


an obsession with pillows

yes, i have an obsession with pillows. why wouldn't you? they're comfy. they can have the coolest pillow covers made of fluffiness or velvet or cotton or chenille. and in my personal (humble) opinion, they are really make a space. i confess: we have seven pillows on our master bedroom bed. yes, seven. and mr. re-nest makes fun of me with my pillow obsession every chance he can get.

that didn't stop me though. we have a new space to decorate in our basement. the new basement meant two new couches. which to me, meant two new spaces to make comfy with some lovely pillows. (i'll admit: i am trying to do the best i can with recycling pillows we already had in other places in the house. i'm trying.)

so in the basement, we've played through with our grey-ish color palette that we have in much of the rest of the house. but i've of course added accent colors...grey, navy and some pops of orange (thanks to little mr. re-nest #1's selection of an orange-and-white chevron for his magnet board...i got inspired to bring orange in other places.) and since it's a wide open space for all of us to hang out, i wanted to also add some personal family touches in the basement. bring in some personal pillows...

the indiana pillow

last christmas, i was totally taken with the personalized pillows that red envelope introduced...in fact, i even ordered one for a dear friend. one of these options was a personalized state pillow which was adorable. given that i now have two little boys, and while the red envelope ones are lovely, i was trying to stay on the economical side of things for the basement. and, i had to admit, i had my moment of "i can totally make that." so i jumped in. 

on a trip to ikea, i found some really cheap (but decently made) 20" cotton pillow covers, which just happened to come in grey. (woohoo!) plus, they also carry the pillow inserts for an even more economical $6.99 a piece! i took one of each.

next up was finding a large enough graphic of the state of indiana online. easy peasy, thanks to our good friend google. indiana was printed and ready to be trimmed out with an exacto.

once indiana was ready, she was traced onto the center of my grey pillow cover (i highly recommend tracing with pencil, rather than pen). 

to finish it off, i grabbed some of my white fabric paint, a wide brush and a small, detail brush and got to work with painting indiana on the pillow cover.

the finished pillow in its new home!
a couple of hints: keep the brushstrokes always going in one direction. use the small, detail brush for the edges. and, don't be afraid of needing to apply multiple coats. for this pillow, i did two thick coats of the white to make sure there was nice, even coverage.

this little pillow makes me smile. indiana is our home. it's where we were born, grew up, met, married and started our little adventure. 

the present pillow

once again, thank you pinterest. given my pillow obsession, i had pinned this diy pillow cover a long time ago, and pulled this back out once the basement was ready. 

i grabbed a small lumbar pillow from jo-ann's, and had some leftover orange-and-white chevron fabric from the magnet board project. it's as easy as laying out the fabric, wrapping the long ends towards one another, then folding the ends in as if you were wrapping a present, and folding them over the center of the pillow. i did fold the ends in, and grabbed an old sparkly broach of mine to fasten the ends together. and voila! a great little accent pillow for our new little cube in the basement! 

tell us: have you added any new diy decor to your nest lately?


more crafty space craftiness: the magnet board!

i promised in my previous post, so i am here to deliver! the very simple ins and outs of the magnet boards little mr. re-nest #1 and i made for our crafty areas in the basement. 

like many crafty things, it all started with pinterest. i came across this super cute magnet board a while back, that suggested using a cookie sheet, a piece of fabric and a ribbon to hang. seemed easy enough, right? i just had to wait until we had actual walls in our basement to make the magnet boards. walls were up, paint was dry and it was time for us to make some magnet boards!

little mr. re-nest #1 and i ventured out to get cookie sheets. correction: cookie sheets that were also magnetic. turns out these aren't so easy to find. (i'll clarify...we found cookie sheets, but they were about nine-by-twelve...not large enough for what i'm looking for. plus they didn't have any magnetism. fail.) so we had to go to plan b...which meant another trip to ikea. (yippee!)

one trip to ikea with two kiddos + two spontan magnet boards + one trip to hobby lobby and we were in business. little mr. re-nest #1 selected some orange and white chevron fabric (he's a boy after my own decorating heart), and i picked some dark grey and white dotted fabric for mine. (note: the fabrics we got were a simple lightweight cotton... i didn't want to use something too heavy so as to make sure the magnets worked just fine.) these were pretty simple and took only about fifteen minutes to put together (thanks to the wonder of hot glue)!

step one: iron the fabric. because no matter what, when you buy the fabric, it will need ironed. once all of the wrinkles are out, lay it out (face down) on the floor to size out how much space you need to wrap around the magnet board. 

step two: trim the fabric on two of the sides...i left about two inches of give on all sides to wrap around the edges so they had a nice finish. (in case you are curious about what is in the upper right hand corner of this pic, that would be a lightning mcqueen racetrack. yep, my project got photobombed.)

step three: get ready to adhere your fabric! i used simple hot glue, simply putting about a two inch amount of it on the edge every one to two inches, and then stretching the fabric around the edge. to give it a full finish, i did also do a second wrap around to the inside edges, so that the top and side edges would have a nice, non-frayed finish. and i finished it off with some large white magnets + my magnetic spice containers, which are actually holding crafting goodness (lots and lots and lots of brads for cardmaking!)

so, so, so super simple and easy to make and is great for a kiddo's space, a family organization center, an office, a craft area...pretty much wherever! 

tell us: do you have a space where a fantastic magnet board would help organize your life?
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