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A Day at Gettysburg: Proof That I Love My Husband

One of the really fun things about Hadley getting older is seeing her world of people expand from me and Josh to so many others that love her. Of course, those people have always been there but for a long time she was pretty much just really into her mom and sometimes her dad. Saying that she had separation anxiety is putting it mildly. Not only would it upset her that I left, she would be upset whenever I started to walk away from her. And continue to be upset until I picked her up and held her. Of course it’s nice to be loved and needed, but it can also be exhausting (especially when your little one is 25 pounds). So now I am all the more grateful to see her LOVE going to nursery (she actually cheers “Church!” “Church!” as we near the building), and watch her develop bonds with other people. Not a day goes by that she doesn’t want to talk about them, especially her many cousins, aunts and uncles and of course, grandparents.

Now that my parents are ten minutes away, she gets lots of time with Granddad and Sue Sue, which is really fun. This past weekend, we all took a trip up to Gettysburg. NOT the most toddler friendly place (or Erin-friendly place) in the world, actually pretty much the opposite, but we somehow still had a great time. I kept the one-year-old entertained so the other adults could soak up the history of the place. I loved how beautiful it was and that Hadley could run around the countryside. I cared less for the thorough history lesson, but was happy to make my military-obsessed husband happy. He is already excited to go back, sans me and the baby next time I’m pretty sure. 

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And before you start to think I’m the worst mom in the world, that is a GINGER beer she is chugging in the last picture. I am pretty sure she thought it was beer though. 

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This Is What HGTV Does To Me

One of the challenges that comes when you move from a 1,200 square foot house to a 3,500 square foot house is furnishing all of those empty rooms. Our new house is one we can thankfully grow into, but we still want it to look furnished and loved before we expand our brood. We have been trying to take it slow, filling and decorating each room one by one. Four months of living here, and I have one room done. And even as I’m saying that, I immediately start questioning the “completed” dining room… wait, do I need curtains on the other window? Is that rug working? Should it be bigger? What about the candles… really they should be replaced with something more wintry looking come December, right? 

In order to protect the bank account, we’ve tried to go the DIY route when we can. Fortunately, living in Loudoun means we are surrounded by consignment shops and antique stores where I can hunt for good finds. Plus, I’m at stay at home mom… I watch way too much HGTV and I love a good project to tackle during nap time! We have also discovered that it’s really fun to do these projects together, which is sort of shocking considering any home improvement endeavors we’ve tackled as a team have pretty much been the opposite. But there’s a huge difference (to me) between hanging curtains and restoring old furniture. Much more relaxing and fun than drilling too many holes in the wall while your one year old tries to put bolts in her mouth. So, Josh will do any sanding or steps that require tools, and then I handle the painting. Having a garage now also really helps. I just plug in the baby monitor while Hadley is down and get as much done as I can. Here’s a little showcase of some of our efforts. 

BEFORE

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Here’s the before. We found this piece marked down at the Old Lucketts Store to $40. It was in really good shape, just needed a little sanding on the top and a good scrub. We did two coats of chalk paint and a coat of wax on top.

AFTER

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And now here she is in my sitting room. It’s one of my favorite pieces in our house and Josh is happy to have a place to put his decanter – which is needing a bourbon refill.

BEFORE

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Sorry, this before picture is really bad but I forgot to take one and this is the only picture I could find documenting what it used to look like. My sister Megan generously gave us her old sideboard. We sanded it down and did three coats of Benjamin Moore Summer Nights. We also spray painted the hardware oil rubbed bronze.

AFTER

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I love neutrals, so adding this bright pop of blue was really scary to me but I’m really happy with the results!

We are also currently spray painting our brass door knobs and hinges to oil rubbed bronze. We have most of the downstairs and about half of the upstairs complete. Turns out, we have a LOT of doors! But it really makes a huge difference. 

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                                      Just imagine all of the brass. Looks so much better.

Now I just need to be better at documenting my before and afters. Totally the best part of any DIY project and also why I was up too late last night to watch the reveal on Love it or List It. Hilary totally nails it every time. 

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