5 Things They Can’t Teach You In Parenting School


I’m sure that everyone is somewhat blindsided when they become parents. You can prepare yourself as much as possible with all the new gadgets and take 10 prep classes, but NOTHING prepares you to be a parent. When people ask you if you’re ready to have kids, I think the honest reply to that is “Is anyone really ready to have kids?” To this day I am amazed at how naive and unsuspecting I was when I was pregnant with Annabelle. I thought we would be able to travel all the time and maintain our very social lifestyle. Uh, wrong. I guess I just expected her to sit quietly and go with the flow! Things are definitely getting easier and we are beginning to get out more and more every week, but still! Here are just a handful of things I found most surprising about becoming a parent.

  1. THE LACK OF SLEEP: I remember being told a hundred times to get as much sleep as possible before the baby came. I guess I just never understood exactly WHY you weren’t sleeping when the baby was around. I’m sure I missed that in my prenatal research, lol. What I didn’t realize is that you are feeding these little bundles of joy every few hours in the beginning. That’s night AND day. Babies fall asleep quickly and I on the other hand would spend most of that time tossing and turning and falling asleep in just enough time for the baby to wake up 15 minutes later. Another thing, newborns are loud sleepers. Annabelle would grunt ALL NIGHT LONG. We tried keeping her in our bedroom but quickly realized I needed her far, far away so I wasn’t waking up to every little noise. I have to say that now I know the true meaning of being tired. I’m still tired.
  2. POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION IS REAL AND ITS UGLY: I didn’t do much research on this pre-baby so I had no idea what to expect. Most women go through a few days of baby blues and tears that come from nowhere. Unfortunately I didn’t luck out in that department. It all started to hit me the day we got home from the hospital, and it lasted for weeks. I can honestly say I have never been so sad in my entire life. The regret and pain I felt in those first months are unforgettable. The clouds have cleared and the sun is out now, but in that time I was positive I would never be happy again. For those of you that are expecting, I urge you do some research on this! It doesn’t hurt to be informed.
  3. NEWBORNS DON’T NEED MUCH: I was in such a rush to get everything I thought a baby needed ahead of time. Little did I know, babies that small don’t require a whole lot! Here are the basics: diapers, bottles and formula if your not breastfeeding, wipes, a crib, maybe a swing, clothes, a swaddle, a rock n play, and baby soap and shampoo. There may be a few additions like pacifiers and bottle warmers, but thats all just a matter of preference. Looking back, I wish I hadn’t gotten all bent out of shape making sure I had EVERYTHING a baby could possibly need for day one.
  4. BABIES ARE A MYSTERY: Just when you think you have everything right and things are running smoothly, it all comes crashing down. Then you are left with the ever changing challenge of figuring out how to fix it! Nap time for instance, one day you can just nurse them and lay them down and the next they refuse to sleep unless they have been rocked. Then all of a sudden they want to be rocked for 20 minutes and when you lay them down they wake up screaming. So then it’s back to just nursing and laying them down. It’s all very confusing. Then there’s the sleep regressions (they start sleeping less). It seems as though there is a sleep regression as soon as you finally get used to the other sleep regression schedule. I’m not sure if it’s a real thing or if they just tell you that to make you feel better. Although it’s a good excuse, it doesn’t aid in the process of coping with it. It seems no matter how hard I try or how good I think I am at it, things change everyday. I try to embrace it and take it in stride. Sometimes I fail at that too.
  5. THE LOVE: I had no idea how it felt to love something so much. I love my husband and I love my family, but this love is different. It’s the kind that makes your heart hurt all the time. It’s a love that can’t be fully expressed with any amount or combination of words. And on top of how much you love them, they love you back just because. Not because your nice or pretty or because you buy them things and spent days upon days preparing for their arrival. They love you because you’re you. Just as simple as that. Of course their love will change and look different over the years, but in those first months it’s pure and simple love.

All in all, becoming a parent is a true honor. It’s full of tears and exhaustion, but even more with joy and laughter. Not a day goes by without me saying, “I can’t believe she’s mine. I just can’t believe it”. And in those moments when I wake up in the morning to a little voice or cry and I frustratingly think to myself, “It”s way to early!”, it takes but that one second when I open the door to her room and see her smiling face for all of those negative feelings to just fade away.

Thanks again everyone for reading! I will be taking next week off from blogging for Annabelle’s birthday, but I will be back the next week. Now go enjoy those little ones if you have ‘em!


Let’s Get Crafty: Refinishing a Highchair


Every so often I go through a season of wanting to refinish and repurpose things. Sometimes this season lasts a few months and sometimes I start with a project that is just difficult enough that I throw my crafting towel in early. So far this has been a good season! It all started with the early preparations for Annabelle’s first birthday. Although I’m still not quite sure where the last year has gone, I have to say I’m excited about this celebration! After scouring Pinterest for all sorts of ideas for the occasion, I landed on a highchair. While we already have a fully functional highchair that we use on a day-to-day basis, it is one of those plastic ones that straps to a chair. Don’t get me wrong! I love it and I’m not a highchair snob, I just wanted something a little more appealing to the eye for pictures. So then began my search for a reasonably priced, fixer upper highchair. As with most specific items I am searching for, I was able to find one on craigslist. It was a great deal, but definitely needed some TLC. Here is how I started!


I first searched Pinterest for inspiration for exactly how I wanted this piece to be refinished. When looking at a used piece of furniture, I always try to take into account the quality. Is it real wood? Is it unique? Is it better to be restored to it’s original state? With this piece of furniture I decided to leave some of it original quirks, but enhance it’s features just a bit. I chose to go with paint AND stain. I wanted to paint the body of the chair and stain the tray as to leave some of the nicks and scrapes that were left. Sometimes it’s best to embrace the history!

There are many ways to go about painting furniture. You could use regular latex paint, chalk paint (I like to make my own), spray paint, and the list goes on. My personal preference for chairs, smaller pieces, and furniture with spindles, is to use spray paint. So I did! I chose a dark stain for the tray because it matches the wood that we have throughout our house.


I started by spray painting the chair. I have found that it is better to spend a little more money on a better paint like the Krylon paint and primer. If you buy the cheaper stuff you end up needing more cans to completely cover your surface and it can cost you more in the end. I did about 3 coats and then checked for touch up areas. If you paint thinner layers you may need more coats, but I’m too impatient, lol.

While waiting for the paint to dry I sanded down my tray with a fine grit sand paper. I tried to remove as much of the shiny coating as I could, but I was ok with it not being perfect. After sanding it, I gave it a good wipe down with a clean cloth. I gave my stain can a good shake and used an old cut up T-shirt to rub the stain on the tray. I did one coat and then waited about an hour to see if I liked the shade. I decided to add one more coat of stain just for safe measure.

I let the chair and the tray dry for about 24 hours and then I applied my top coat or sealer. I spent some time and did some research on the best sealer option for a highchair. After all, she would be eating off it. I came across this product called Bulls Eye Shellac by Zinsser. It is non-toxic and All-Natural.  It was just a bonus that I could spray it on instead of using a brush. Gotta love that!


After everything was dry I reassembled all of the tray pieces and voila! My beautiful, revamped highchair was complete! The entire process took about 2 working hours and about 2 days if you include dry time. I couldn’t be happier with the finished product. I love bringing some life back into beautiful, old pieces.


What was your latest repurpose or refinish project? How did it turn out? I would love to hear from you! See you again next week!


7 Things This Stay At Homesteader Mom Can’t Live Without


Let’s face it, your needs change depending on where you are, in life and geographically. I am becoming more familiar with my needs daily. I went from independent city-wife to country living mama in a matter of 4 weeks! Yes, that’s accurate. It was quite the transition. Although there are many things that I used and needed in the city that are the same as those I need now, I need them for very different reasons. There are just some things that this mama cannot live without.

1. Internet

Yes, for the purpose of this blog I definitely need the internet, but that’s not the reason it’s on my list! I have to admit that I feel the need to be connected with world with just the click of a button. FaceBook helps me feel closer to my friends and family that are so far away and it allows me to share all of the wonderful memories I am making with our first baby! Amazon Prime is another internet tool that has helped me tremendously. Being new parents and living 45 minutes away from most large retail stores made signing up for Prime an easy decision. I order diapers, supplements, dog food, tools, food, you name it. And I love that I can order last minute too!

2. Chickens

We all know how I feel about chickens. I think everyone should have some. Needless to say, no matter where we are we will ALWAYS have chickens. I love having my own fresh eggs daily and sharing them with my neighbors and friends. And it’s one less thing I have to remember to pick up at the store! Now we just need goats milk 🙂

3. Antenna

I mentioned in a previous post that we don’t have cable, but we DO have an antenna. It is capable of picking up channels within a 50 mile radius and according to our map we should be getting around 30 channels. The only downfall about being surrounded by trees is that your antenna reception isn’t always that great. But that’s ok! All I need is one news channel. Most days I can get one of the two to come in clearly, but some days I’m lucky and can get both! Regardless, I think its important to stay connected to the world. Even if it’s all about the crazy politics.

4. Riding Mower

This a new addition to the homestead, but its worth its weight in gold! After spending hours upon hours push mowing the 2 acres surrounding our house (a job mostly performed by my husband) we realized how precious our weekends were to us. We would much rather spend our time walking the trail, garage sailing, playing with the baby, or just relaxing. Now mowing the lawn is a task we almost fight over!

5. Boots

Boots are a must have for every homesteader. Within in 5 minutes of being here you will run into mud puddles, tall grass and weeds, animal “droppings”, and lots and lots of fire ants. For safety reasons as well as sheer practicality purposes, boots are a must. It’s nice to have a pair of shoes that you can enjoy dirtying up! At least I enjoy it 🙂

6. Bug Repellent

Bug, bugs, EVERYWHERE! Summer time can be an absolute beating if you aren’t armed with a good bug repellent. We have experimented with several different remedies for the variety of bugs we have around here. Some critters in particular that drive me crazy are the chiggers! I hate those little boogers. We have found that using powdered sulfur around our ankles and pants helps tremendously. Just a little tip passed down from my Great Grandpa!

7. Friends and Family

This is one thing that I ABSOLUTELY could not live without. We have been so fortunate to have so many of our family and friends come out to visit. Being a stay at homesteader mom can get lonely at times. While I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world, I do wish I could share more of these moments with the people closest to me. Thankfully I get calls and texts daily from my loved ones. To be honest, we have had more months with visitors since we’ve lived here than we have had without!

I went from shopping malls and trendy clothes to boots and bug spray. It has been quite a journey and a big adjustment, but well worth it! Thanks again for reading! Don’t forget to subscribe and follow my blog! See you next week!