Wednesday, May 30, 2012


As broken washing machines, tree pruning requests and gutter repairs have wreaked havoc on our financial respite, we will hopefully soon get more projects accomplished at the house. This weekend was huge for us, although not really photo worthy or really even a good read. I'll keep it brief. My nesting has kicked in and I continue to hang little pint size shirts and pants in preparation that little pudgy legs and arms will find them soon, hopefully. I have two little nursery projects coming and they make me sick with excitement. Hopefully I will show you soon.
We hung pictures, cleared cabinets and purged away. The piles of boxes are diminishing, and the brick a brack is filed away, or sitting nicely in place now.  I can't fail to tell you too, that we straightened the garage and shed. woo.hoo., right? It was big. It was hopefully a stepping stone to bigger, better things. I'd like to have done wonderful design projects over the long weekend, but alas, we did not.
If I could take snapshots of my mind and show you our future finished living room, I would. I would also tour you through Gil's new room too, so you could see the "bomb pop" curtains and bright colors we adorn it with. For now, however, those images are safe in my mind. They are unrealized, but that's okay. Hopefully soon.

Gutter corrected, back of house saved!

Bought some flowers for the foot of the evergreens

Straightened and organized

Cleaned out and organized the shed (and garage)

Oh my gosh and I almost forgot to tell you. We are getting our house cleaned. I mean scrubbed. The outside. It will be clean at last! Before and after shots are certainly on the way. I am mentioning this because as you are deep in the throes of home ownership, these things matter. These things eventually lift from your shoulders and somehow give you an extra large sense of accomplishment, even if you are only there to decide it's happening. I love seeing the outside of the house come together. It's almost as if the brick coursing bends a little upward to smile. The structure stands a little taller and may even exhale with pride slightly. Maybe. Hopefully.

One more thing...
" Hopefully" is now an accepted adverb, according to the AP Stylebook. Apparently, there was a big debate and hatred of the word as an adverb, or rather hatred for the use of it. For instance, "Hopefully, I can get some sleep one day." It was too vague. The accepted substitute was (until this week) "One would hope that I can get some sleep one day." It says the same thing. I happen to like the word hope, in whatever form it must appear. In some of my darkest hours, I can repeat in my head "hope", and I'd search for it in some alternative or a simple option of fate. HOPE. I would hate to live without it in any way, used in the proper format or not.  I am certainly not a wordsmith. I speak and write as if every sentence has a little nerve ending, and my thoughts walk gently across the words. I try to, at least. As I age, I realize this is important to do. My foot only finds my mouth every few months or so these days. Hopefully that's the case...

"Dishing" on my bathroom drawers

My second home lately has been Pinterest. As much as I resisted taking my dear friend up on my invitation, I succumbed eventually. If you have ever seen Salem's Lot, it was like the scene where Danny Glick came to the window and gently scratched until his little friend came out so he can turn him into the undead. Similar. Different outcome, I suppose, but that email invitation was my Danny Glick for awhile. 

Anyway, I have been finding little projects and unpacking and discovering little trinkets and accessories (which seems like a major excavation at this point). I pinned this:

And came up with this:

I started with this...ewww

Measured twice, cut once...

Lined the cabinet floor with vinyl (awesome) wallcovering. Cleanable folks.

Added my sushi plates...

Had a nostalgic moment over my "Fun Fruits" sharpener. It's from the 80's. I love you, Nicki.

To this! Organized!

Look below the ceramics. Oh my. That, my friends, is sparkly vinyl (cleanable) wall covering. I had a rep from Eyekon (WWW.EYEKON.NET) come visit me at work today two months ago, and I immediately fell in love. I wasted no time ordering a sample for this very project (and have had it way too long). Again, I took a little spray glue to the back. Commercial wall covering adhesive is no joke, and the power and strength (and aggravation of installation) is not necessary in a drawer. Now, I may feel a little more glamorous while "putting on my face".

I have future plans for more this wall covering in gold. Two words: Closet ceiling. 

Yes, I know the intent was for jewelry storage, but I have a tough time digging through a pile pf plastic boxes, containers and creams to find what I need in the morning. These dishes are also washable, so that helps too. I didn't realize how many of these little sushi servers I had, but I'd say it worked out well. 

An aside: I would have loved different patterns, teacups and bright colorful inspirations just like the Pinterest post. However, I am working on a plate project, and it is not easy to collect and  assemble a grouping of plates for a yellow wall. On this one, I used what I had, if nothing else to get it done, 100% free of charge. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Long Look Back and a Big Deep Breath

My husband has been putting together a gift for our sons for about a year now. He's tracing our genealogy. Now, a first I admit, I wasn't as into it as he was. (I am not sure I still am, since he is up all hours of the night saving marriage certificates, searching Magyar Hungarians, and planning trips to Shropshire, England.)

It has almost completely changed my outlook on life, truthfully, and most definitely put my family life and past into perspective. It has knocked me off my feet. As a teenager, I was zoomed into myself and myself alone. It was simple. The world revolved around me and me alone. In retrospect, it's disgusting, but it's also enviable in a way since there wasn't much stress or consequence. In my 20's, I zoomed out a little. I remember it being a time for me to establish myself in my career, and hope that you keep your foothold. Each decade zooms you out a little more. Once I looked at this history, I can now see for miles, years, lifetimes and it's like a puzzle with each new shape forming to it's predecessors. It is very much like when I had a baby. It was like the history of my family unlocked a chapter and a key to the souls of my parents, and their parents. It was like I had some pages stuck together of my owners manual, and suddenly a baby's tears dissolved the adhesion between the pages, chapters and volumes. 

Walter Herbst (Grandfather) as a kid ca. 1925

Dad and Grandpa Herbst  ca. 1945
My family history is not necessarily fortunate throughout. It was hard fought, and desperate. It is amazing to research, read and then fill in with the stories from my parents these harrowing people I knew as "grandma" and grandpa". Through all the struggle and loss and lack of, they survived. They made it. They had children and shaped their lives. I hear in my mothers accounts the pain that she knew that my grandmother had. I think now, it's important that we knew her as a funny lady with broken English. I am just now able to begin to understand the profundity of her trip from here to Hungary, and back again. And her marriage to Archie, and how she loved her children. We found out that her parents made it here, and no one ever knew that, but there it was, on the 1910 Census. Wow. 

Grandpa Herbst (center) and Grandma (far right) ca. 1937

Uncle Joe, Aunt Jeanne and my parents at their wedding - September 26, 1964 

My husband has wanderlust also to visit his roots. Together we put our history together, and make present and will make a history for our children's children. It' very exciting. Each extension of a family line weaves our hearts and souls a little tighter as our history is revealed. 

Now, I feel very close to my roots. I feel that I need to travel and see where they came from, and left. I need to  see why they did it. How they did it, and how strong they really are. In a  strange way, the genealogy research has made me feel weak. I have had such an easy life in comparison. I want my tick on the line to mean something to Gil and his brother. I don't mean that I want to make a lot of money and they'll be happily ever after. I mean, I want them to grow to be good men, and good husbands. I want them to struggle and fight for what they want from life. After all, the saddest realization I have made of my beloveds is, the survival of an orphanage, or making it home after scouting in WWII, the end is the same. You will not see cancer on the census. You will not see alcoholism. You will not see heart attacks, but they are there somewhere. Death has nothing to do with life sometimes, but it does make me think that I need to start living and raising these boys and seeing the world. What is it they say? You can't take it with you...Damn right. 

**A few posts ago, I decided to put all family pictures up in our living/dining room. Now, it means so much more. My hope is to pass on the face and the story to Gil and "Mr. Baby". 

***Lastly, I PROMISE to get back to the house this week! Hubby and I are takign a few days off around the long weekend and will finish straggling projects and I will show you here. 
PREVIEW: Gil's new room started, the upstairs hallway and maybe a bathroom re-do.  yee! 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Little Lost in Love and "Landlord hood"

Hi. I wish this post was all about a 'before and after' project that I have kept secret for a few weeks. It's not.  My belly is growing and the simple task of twisting is a serious challenge. Nevertheless, I have been a busy bee around the house. As of May 1st, our other house has a tenant! We spent the last few weeks, painting polishing, vacuuming and touching up the fixtures there, and have had a chance to enjoy our new home a little more while finding respite from the last minute mayhem of landlord hood. 

Of course, all the spit shining and dirt removing did not prevent the air conditioning to not work. Oh yes, a blind side! Luckily, I have a great contact that helped me out and repaired it, instead of replacing the unit. So now, we must focus back to the house. You know, THE house. 

Nate has quickly been overwhelmed with all the things we still need to do at THE house. I keep telling him not to worry and it'll be done when it's done. It's a classic Beth-Nate situation. I have spent the hard working weeks envisioning and prioritizing future new furniture, the painting projects and of course, the "secret playroom" design, so I certainly haven't given up on the house. I never will. 

Admittedly lately, I have been lost in love. As we get our newborn clothes out, reassemble the swing and stock the cabinets with bottles and formula, we make room for the new little one. Our hearts are growing and swelling with love bursting from all valves and vessels. With pregnancy, my tears flow like rivers at any Mother's Day commercial, any thought of hugging my boys, or knowing I'll see my husband hold his second son moments after that first cry. 

...and then there's my husband. I decided to write our tale of love. (It's a long one, from my view point)  It has plunged me deep into my own soul and I have explored the deepest depths of it and have reconvened with my highest highs. I have appreciated the road we have taken together (and apart), and I have just been simply head over heels over him, realizing that us together wasn't purely a decision. It was a must. I haven't finished it yet. It's a little tough to write at parts, so it'll take a little more time and strength for sure. 

I have just been lost in the love around me. Lost in the reports from the hubby that I get in the morning about the Yankees' pitching staff even though I don't really wonder about it, or the Rangers win. Lost in the moment Gil sees Nate and runs to him with pure and true happiness. Lost in the excited anticipation of the brothers together and bonding forever. Lost in Nate's worry that Mother's Day won't be enough. It will be, I promise.