Category Archives: Notes with a Question

Our New/Old Dining Room Furniture (+ I Need Your Help!)

It has been a crazy few weeks here at our house this summer!  There’s lots to blog about…but soon enough.

Today I’m just going to post pictures of our brand new/old dining room furniture…because I know how much you ALL want to see it (that was sarcastic :)). But really because I am quite jazzed about it — also, I can’t sleep, so what better thing to do than post pictures of our dining room?! 🙂

How can dining room furniture be new AND old, you ask? Let me explain.

M’s sweet grandmother passed away almost two years ago, and we were so privileged to receive her dining room table and chairs. We love sitting around the same table that served her family for so many years.

We always knew we’d probably make a few adjustments to it, though. The chairs were lovely, but starting to break a little, and the seat cushions were white. We have toddlers. Need I say more? 🙂

Long story short, we decided to stain the table a darker color and get new chairs to go along with it.

M’s parents were gracious enough to take on the project of sanding and staining the table. They put a LOT of work into it, and it turned out great!

Then, this past weekend we stumbled upon some chairs we LOVE (and just happened to hit the store’s 4th of July sale). We ordered them and they arrived today.

Hence…our new/old dining room!

Before Picture:

After Pictures:

So there you have it. It feels SOOOOO good to have that long-awaited project done (even though we have others to thank for all the work :)).

What kinds of summer projects are you working on around your house?

*I do have one question for you all, though. Our new chairs do have cloth seat cushions — not white, mind you, but cloth nonetheless. I am looking for some kind of product that we could use to put under W’s booster seat to protect the cushion (some kind of cushion cover? mat? oil-cloth somethin’-somethin’?). Does anyone have any ideas for a product that could serve such a purpose? Let me know!



So we heard through the grapevine that Bachman’s has some neat vintage film equipment for sale, and M was immediately interested, as he is a video guy (does video editing on the side) and has been looking for some cool stuff to deck out the office with. Thursday night we made an impromptu trip to Bachman’s, where we found this really cool looking vintage 16 mm Keystone film projector. It looked kind of like this, except black and shinier and cooler looking:

I thought it looked neat. M loved it too. But, alas, I thought the price tag was a bit too steep — not ridiculous (particularly as I think about it in retrospect); just a little more than I envisioned spending on such a purchase. So I put my vote in that we not buy it — for now — and M, being the wonderfully selfless husband that he is, agreed. After several minutes of hanging around the projector, holding it, examining it, and admiring it, we reluctantly put it back on the shelf, left and hit the antique section where we found some cool old film reels and canisters instead.

The more I thought about it, though, the more I really wanted him to have this projector. So today I decided that, one way or the other, I wanted him to get it. Long story, but I decided to make it an early Father’s Day present. So when we were near Bachman’s today, I told him I wanted to get it for him, and suggested we stop by the store and pick it up. So we parked and headed into the store, where we had a slightly painful experience.

First, I’ll say what wouldn’t have hurt. It wouldn’t have hurt if we would have walked in and found the shelf empty. It would have been a bummer, but it wouldn’t have hurt.

What did hurt was that we literally walked in just as a gentleman had taken it off the shelf and was holding it — not in a “I’m holding this to get a better look at it” kind of way; it was a much more confident “I’m holding this because I’m going to buy it” kind of way. Our suspicions were confirmed as we asked him if he was going to buy it and he assured us that he was. So we left.

And I may or may not have cried. Right there in the store.

Granted, I know that in the grand scheme of things, this is no biggie. But still I ask: does anyone have any great ideas where one might find such a film projector? Seriously. Like, I’m seriously asking. Anyone know? (*aside from EBay, of course. I am aware of EBay. :))

Ever Wanna Hide?

I’m not generally what you would call outgoing. Sure, I enjoy meeting new people and I warm up fairly quickly when making new friends — I’m just not big on approaching them FIRST. It kind of freaks me out. OK, it REALLY freaks me out. Holy fear of rejection, Batman! Looking back, I think this is why most of my closest friends over the years have been extroverts — they approached me first!

Yeah, confidence is not exactly my strong suit — the confidence to act on the spot, without a script of some sort, at least. Put me up on a stage, give me a script to recite or notes/words to sing — I’m good. Otherwise, um, no thank you. Gotta have a script. This is why I will never be in Comedy Sportz or any other improv troupe (also I’m not that funny, but I digress)…

ANYWAY, the reason this is all coming up for me is that the neighborhood Bible study I am a part of has decided to put on a little Christmas tea for the ladies on our street in a few weeks…just a time to gather together, get to know one another better, read the Christmas story and ponder the true meaning of Christmas. It will be a nice time and I’m really looking forward to it. The only thing I’m terrified about is that I’ve been asked to deliver the invitations. By hand. Door. To. Door.


I’d be totally comfortable with designing the invitations…or addressing them and popping them in the mailbox…or even putting together a little e-vite…but hand delivering them? Offering my neighbors (most of whom I’ve yet to meet or don’t know very well) a warm smile, and an unscripted invitation to our gathering? I’m nearly breaking out in a sweat just thinking about it. Or hyper-ventilating a little. Or both.

It’s in those types of situations where the lies start to pour in, isn’t it. The insecurities. Suddenly I’m hyper aware of my extreme and seemingly-constant awkwardness, or how funny I might look, or how unfashionable I am. Stuff I normally wouldn’t care about suddenly is magnified and my tongue gets all tangled up.

SO….this is exactly why I told my neighbor who asked me that I’d be happy to do it. I told her it scares the living daylights out of me, but so help me I will do it.

Goodness, if people DIE for their faith, surely I could hand out a few Christmas tea invitations!


What about you? Have you ever resisted the urge to hide? How’d it go for ya?

Still Here and a “Meme”

Sorry it’s been awhile since I”ve blogged. I’ve been busy chasing this:


That’s right, my son is now a full-fledged walker, and he’s EVERYWHERE! As you can see from the video, he’s taken over almost the entire main floor of our home (sans the kitchen), and, if it’s even possible, he’s taken over even more of our hearts than before. He’s in a very busy stage — but also a very FUN stage. He’s now saying a couple words (“Hi”, “bye”, and the occasional “mama” or “dada”) and has even begun to follow simple instructions (“Bring me your sippy cup”, “Get your paci”, etc.). My baby’s growing up!


It’s not often that I get picked for things (cue “pity party”), so as you can imagine I was thrilled to see that Rachel over at Badgers on the Loose selected me as a fellow blogger to participate in a “meme”. Now, before you ask me “But Nikki, what’s a ‘meme’?”, know that I don’t really know myself. 🙂 I’m not deep enough in the blogging world to know all the lingo. From what I can gather, though, it involves answering a question, then selecting and challenging other bloggers to answer the same question on their blog.

Here are the rules:

1. Write about 5 specific ways blogging has affected you, either positively or negatively.
2. link back to the person who tagged you
3. link back to this parent post
4. tag a few friends or five, or none at all

5. post these rules— or just have fun breaking them 


My first order of business is to follow Rachel’s lead by breaking rule #1. 🙂 I’m altering the question a bit to “Why do I blog and/or read blogs?”.

So…here goes…

1. I blog as an outlet. Long before blogs became “the thing”, I would often find myself with a story to tell, an anecdote to share, or a random thought I wanted to communicate…somewhere…not to anyone specific, really; just to “the void” as Meg Ryan calls it in You’ve Got Mail. Before blogging was around, there was no real, practical way to do this. Now that it’s around, I love being able to plop down and quickly type out the funny thing that happened to me in the bakery today, the great quote I just heard, or something that God’s teaching/showing me today as a mom.

2. I blog because sometimes it’s easier than talking. I’m naturally a pretty reserved person (well, usually). Verbal communication isn’t exactly my forte…it’s soooo much easier for me to type out what I’m thinking than to say it. I’m not saying this is a positive reason for blogging, and I definitely try to ensure that any blogging I do is not in substitution of real, live communication with friends and family — but honestly, that is an element of blogging that draws me to it, and I believe is OK, to a point, so long as I hold it in check.

3. I blog (and read blogs) to communicate with friends & family. I’ve always been a fan of Christmas form letters (yes, I’m wierd). A blog is sort of like a year-round Christmas form letter. I can share tidbits of information, both exciting and minute, that someone might be interested in knowing about our family. Likewise, I can keep up with the goings-on of other people I care about — again, not to replace real, live communication — but perhaps to supplement or enhance it. It often provides great springboards for conversation when I do interact with these people in person!

4. I blog (and read blogs) for the community of moms/other women. This was an unexpected surprise of blogging. The stage of motherhood I’m in is one in which I am at home a lot — little boy still takes lots of naps and is still too little to go many places. It’s also a stage where I have tons of questions and uncertainties about being a mom. I love reading about the funny things that have happened to other women, cute things their kids have said, lessons God has been teaching them, and the like. And I love the fact that I can pose a question on my blog (such as “what should I be feeding my 1 year old?”), knowing that I will get a great variety of answers and, no doubt, some ideas.

5. I read blogs because it’s FUN! I blog because it’s fun, too…but I’m MUCH more of a blog reader than I blog-typer. Seriously. You saw the video at the top of this post…I don’t have much time to plop down and type a blog these days! I don’t think I will ever be one of those women that’s super deep into blogging…prepping a post every day. But if I have 2 minutes I can open my google reader and catch up on whatever blogs I want to catch up on (and save whatever I want to catch up on later for later). Seriously, the google reader is a wonderful invention. But I digress.

OK! There, I did it. Now I need to pick 5 people to answer this question, too! Trouble is, I don’t know if 5 people read this blog. Ummmm…Cari, Michelle, Mom, Kim, and…oh, I don’t know…anyone else who wants to do it. 🙂 Just post a comment in the comment section here if you choose to answer this “meme”!