Carrots for Michaelmas: Musings of a Catholic Wife, Mother, and Occasional Redhead

Our House, Part VIII: The Living Room
November 17, 2011, 4:39 pm
Filed under: Our Home

I finally took some pictures of our living room the other day. Daniel agreed to part with an old armchair that was making things feel cramped. My view was that the chair was looking pretty shabby and nasty after sitting in storage for a few weeks last summer when we were waiting to close on our house…and that’s after it was moved four times in Waco…and that’s after it was bought used for $25 over 5 years ago. It had a good run. Daniel view was that it was super comfortable and generally awesome and still had years of enjoyable usefulness. But he loves me more than the armchair and with nary a grumble, took it to the curb.

Here’s our new armchair, which is actually a hand-me-down from my sweet sister-in-law.

Here’s the view into the kitchen from the front door side of the room. The couch (one of two) used to belong to my grandparents and was previously at my brother’s house. I asked my mom when her parents bought them and she said she can’t remember a time when they didn’t have them when she was growing up. Who knows how old they are! But i LOVE them. The coffee table was a wedding gift from my dear friend Claire.

Couch number two, front door, and key holder from Texas (obvi). The rocking chair was a birthday gift a couple of years ago from dear friend John, Kate, and Luke in Waco. Why is this picture so dark? Oops. I promise that my house isn’t this dark.

View into the dining room. Little writing desk is a hand-me-down from Daniel’s grandma.

I think I removed 8 coats/sweatshirts and 5 bags from that thing before taking this picture.

And because he’s cute:


Our House, Part VII: Our Bedroom/Lucy’s Room
October 9, 2011, 3:48 pm
Filed under: Our Home

I’ve been doing some serious nesting. I was up at 5:20 while Daniel was doing his Holy Hour in the Chapel. After he got home at 6am, I made French Toast and Coffee and finished tidying up our bedroom/Lucy’s room. Then I swept, mopped, dusted, cleaned the baseboards, and even cleaned the blinds. I’m not sure when the last time was that I cleaned baseboards and blinds (my mother is cringing). It is hardly a common occurrence in our house. Yeah, gross, I know. But it’s clean now! I went to Mass at 8am then came back to clean some more. There’s still several projects and spaces in our bedroom that we want to fix/liven up but this is about as clean as it will be so it seemed like the right time to post some pictures.

This is Lucy and my closet. The bedroom has these awesome built-ins just like The Library and Benjamin’s Room.

Here’s Daniel’s tiny closet and the spot he set up for me to put on my makeup and get ready…now that our one bathroom is shared by 4 adults and 1 (soon to be 2!) little one. Amazingly…it’s never really a problem. Not even inconvenient, but we do have the world’s best housemates so…that probably has something to do with how easily it works.

Here’s Lucy’s co-sleeper on the right, next to the bedside table Daniel made me when I was pregnant with Benjamin.


Here’s Lucy’s changing table on the left (modified and painted by Daniel). We hung up the precious Growth Chart that my sweet sister-in-law gave us when Benjamin was born to make Lucy’s changing nook a little more lively. It’s too far away to see them but I even filled up little spray bottles with homemade baby wipe solution*** during last night’s nesting craze. And I put ribbons on the spray bottles. That’s how crazy I’m getting! For those of you who don’t know me very well….I’m not exactly a model housekeeper. And I definitely don’t do ribbons on things. My mother is laughing at me. She does ribbons. She is the model housekeeper.

Now it’s noon on a rainy Sunday and I’m going to make a grilled cheese and then take a nap in case I go into labor soonish. I’ve had some contractions but they still feel more like Braxton-Hicks. I’m not too impatient about labor now. I’m in that late pregnancy insanity where I think I’m going to be pregnant forever. FOREVER.

***Quick note regarding homemade cloth wipe solution. With Benjamin I soaked the wipes in the solution; however, they would start to get moldy really quickly so this time around I’m just gonna use a spray bottle to moisten the cloth wipes.

Our House, Part VI: The Dining Room
April 26, 2011, 5:42 pm
Filed under: Our Home

It’s been months since I posted any pictures of our new house for our Texas friends who haven’t seen it yet. Since the Dining Room was relatively clean and I actually cleaned the little toddler handprints off of the windows (a rare occurence), it seemed like an opportune time for a post.

My parents got us the pie safe and the wooden high chair, both of which I love. The pie safe was built by sharecroppers at the turn of the century and can fold in half for easy transport.

Looking out on the back porch and shed. The shed is a forbidden place for Benjamin and therefore enticing beyond words…

Spring! and My New Anti-Laundry Plan
March 27, 2011, 7:37 pm
Filed under: Children, Farm Life, Our Home

Now that the weather is lovely and warm, my new Anti-Laundry Accumulation Plan is to not put clothes on Benjamin unless it’s absolutely necessary.

This little boy has been just so sweet lately. Last month he was rather obstinate and ornery, I think partly due to my low energy because of the first trimester and the nausea that kept us cooped up inside. I’m still sleepy and pukey but we’ve been spending more time outside and he has been so precious, delightful, silly, and loving.

I’ve been meaning to take pictures of the beautiful wisteria, azaleas, camellias, and dogwoods that are blooming all over Tallahassee but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. Here’s just a little taste of the sights of Spring that Benjamin picked for me yesterday (his new favorite thing is picking flowers for Mama, it’s so cute and all his idea):

Suffice it to say that Spring has been so beautiful here that I haven’t even missed the Texas Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes that covered everything around our little farm last year:

Texas wildflowers are lovely, but Spring is just Tallahassee’s season to shine. I love living here.

Daniel’s garden is thriving.

We’ll have enough peas to start eating up any day now:

And so many different kind of Tomatoes are blooming!

Daniel’s raised beds are just so pretty.

But he has a lot of “help” in the garden from this guy:

Did I mention that he’s been on a painting spree? Sweet boy.

Our House, Part V: Benjamin’s Cabinet
November 4, 2010, 6:21 pm
Filed under: Children, Our Home

This is Benjamin’s Cabinet. When we’re cooking he will climb into his cabinet that houses his cracked blue colander that he likes to wear as a hat or sit on. After 10 seconds of silence he’ll say, “Where’s Benjamin?!” and then pop out and laugh uproariously.

His fat little tummy just kills me.

Here he is playing a little ditty on the penny whistle. It makes the most dreadful sounds but keeps him entertained for at least 2 minutes together. Is it worth it? We haven’t decided yet. Sorry about the bad photo. I hate using the flash but he’s constantly moving and without it, everything looks blurry because of his constant state of motion. Someday I’ll get a fancy schmancy camera.

Our House, Part IV: The Library
October 29, 2010, 6:57 pm
Filed under: Books, Our Home

We’re book people and we need lots of shelf space for all our books.

We have only just now begun to use our third bedroom. When we moved in it became apparent that the resident of this bedroom had been a smoker and the room just reeked of cigarettes. We painted and cleaned but the smell was still overwhelming. My dad looked into the matter and painted everything with a special paint that completely seals in the smoke and nicotine. Special paint. That’s the technical term. He and Daniel painted the walls and ceiling and took apart all the built-ins to clean and paint them as well. So now the stench is pretty much completely gone and we started unpacking our books. When it’s completely finished, the room will serve as our library/study/office/movie room until the other bedrooms are overflowing with babies. At that point we plan to make the library our bedroom and turn the bedroom into a baby room.

Check out these built-ins! All the open shelves used to be covered with doors like a closet and painted the color of vomit. I think a wall of books is so pretty.

Here’s the view into the hallway. And yeah, we haven’t put the plate back on the light switch. Get over it.

Currently our only place to sit in the room is this rocker. Gonna try to remedy that soon so that we can have people over to watch movies and actually offer them a place to sit. Also note that the walls aren’t orangey like they appear in this picture. It’s just the lighting.

This side of the room obviously needs some work. We’re going to paint that bookshelf, probably white. I’d like to have a curtain or something to cover up the TV when we’re not using it. Maybe someday we’ll even go so far as to unpack our boxes of office stuff.

Daniel and my Dad put pretty touches on the edges of the shelves. Can you see it in this picture?

And just one more picture of those beautiful built-ins. Thank you Dad and Daniel for putting so much time into getting it livable!

Our House, Part III: The Vegetable Garden
September 16, 2010, 2:44 pm
Filed under: Children, Farm Life, Green Living, Our Home

While choosing a house, one of our main concerns was having enough yard space for a large vegetable garden. Growing our own food has become really important to us over the past three years and it is so fun to watch Little Bear be excited about the garden.

okra flower!

Daniel planted some okra, peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes right next to the house as a start and then added 8 raised beds. The okra has been prolific but the peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes haven’t produced very much since we planted so late and its been so very very hot.

(weird iphone pic)

The first three raised beds are starting to produce nicely with beans, squash, pumpkins, herbs, etc. Daniel put in the other five a couple of weeks ago and greens, leeks, carrots, and more are just beginning to come up.

Benjamin is obsessed with watering the garden.

The hose is the best thing of his life.

Our House, Part II: The Kitchen
September 15, 2010, 3:43 pm
Filed under: Our Home

So I waited for a day when the kitchen was somewhat tidy to take some pictures. This post is primarily an attempt to make John, one of our previous housemates, jealous and convince him to move with his lovely wife to Tallahassee and come cook with us. We miss you, Sterchis!

Our house was built in the 40s but the kitchen was recently renovated and we adore it. This door opens into the laundry room. The other side of the kitchen is open into the dining room.

I love the stainless steel appliances, the oak cabinets, and the original pine floors. Don’t you want to come visit, John?

There is tons of counter space to store yummy veggies from our CSA or our garden!

Gas stove, John! Buy your ticket, already! Make us a lemon souffle! Of note: the bottom cabinet to the right is empty and Benjamin has claimed it as his own. He likes to climb in, close the door, and pop out with a sneaky grim.

I love cooking in this kitchen. It’s really where we spend most of our time. And it will be even more fun to hang out there when the weather turns cool and the warmth of the oven is enjoyable instead of oppressive. Are you sold, John? When shall we expect you?

There are no pictures of the sink and opposite countertops because I was too lazy to dry the dishes and put them away. Sad, but true.

Our House, Part I: Benjamin’s Room and Benjamin, the Artist
September 7, 2010, 2:29 pm
Filed under: Children, Our Home

Folks have been demanding pictures of our house. We bought a precious house built in the ’40s in midtown Tallahassee in June and we are loving having our very own place. Now that I’m done with my classes I am actually getting some house things done, like unpacking us, which is very exciting and we’re almost done with painting.

I’ve taken pictures of Little Bear’s room which was a despicable peachy vomit color. We chose a pale yellow for the walls and a bright blue for the built-ins.

It’s still pretty bare and I haven’t done a window treatment yet. Any ideas for that? I love the pirate map of Florida that Daniel’s folks gave us and we have since added a beautiful icon that Brandon gave to Benjamin last Easter.

I love these built-ins, a huge closet and big drawers, because they have amazing storage and look pretty so a lot of furniture like dressers, etc is uneccessary making the room look big.

I keep most of Benjamin’s diaper stuff in the bottom left drawer and just change him on the changing mat in the bottom left corner. He’s always been so squirmy that we have been changing him on the floor or on a bed since he learned to roll over.

Here’s Benjamin “chilling” on the mat Marianna gave us. I put chilling in quotes because he obviously still MOVING like always, kicking his little legs. And I love the precious diaper holder my mom got us.

A Portrait of the Artist and his Creation. Benjamin was playing with our homemade playdough in the kitchen floor while I made dinner last night and he decided to stick all his little fisher price animals in his “pie” as he called it.

Here’s a close up. Looks like Lion is having some trouble.

Little Bear had very strong opinions about where each animal should go. I tried to place the sheep somewhere and the Artist clearly expressed that no, indeed, the sheep’s place in the animal pie is somewhere else entirely.