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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Good Morning! Happy Summer! It's good to see you!

Wow, it feels great to be back!  I am officially on maternity leave for the next 4 months as of today and am looking forward to blogging through those months with all of the exciting things happening!

I laugh as I read back over my last post from waaay back in December about not finding out the sex of our baby and our names we had picked out.  As most of you know (but I'll remind you anyway) we accidentally found out the gender of our anticipated arrival, a boy and his name is/ will be Jack.  People ask me if we are mad that the ultrasound tech spilled the beans and the answer is no... mostly because I was so sure he was a boy already, it didn't even really feel like finding something new out.  I don't think I would have even believed her if she said it was a girl.  And, because it has been really fun dreaming about what he will be like, how we plan to raise our son and getting to know this little guy a little bit more personally than when we had we had no idea who he was in there.  So, we are glad.  And since I am standing on the doorstep of 38 weeks pregnant- we are more than excited to meet him in person.  Between trying to conceive for 8 months before we did, and now having been pregnant for the last nine months, it's been a long time coming that we have been totally consumed with thoughts of our family starting.  And it is so hard to wait! 

In other news... this blog was originally started to chronical the process of us buying our current home and what a journey that is.  Well, another news flash- we aren't going to buy it.  There are only two bedrooms on the main floor.  Within a couple weeks here we will be at max capacity.  There is a large downstairs which is only partially furnished, but it would need a huge rennovation in order to start stashing more kids down there.  It's a cute house in a great neighborhood- but two is company in the kitchen & living spaces, three will be cozy and four will be a wine habit for Mommy.  So, before we invest in such a huge decision, we want to find the right floor plan/ yard/ space.  We are also thinking about renting for a couple more years while Brian finished the Apprentice Program in the Shipyard and then buckling down to buy.  For now though, our landlords have given us pretty liberal reign on the place, so we have still been project-ing it up slowly but surely and I'm sure I'll catch you up on those in future blogs as well. 

So, since the blog isn't going to be as focused on just the home-buying process... it will probably evolve into the finer details of things that are happening in the Derksema world.  Things we are doing.  Those details of Baby Jack's life that not everyone on Facebook will care about, but people who follow this blog might.  Places we are going, the things we are eating, books we are reading, crafts we are doing, etc.  A scrapbook of sorts of the ways we are keepin' our hands dirty and our lives full. 

It's good to be back. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Playing catch up...

Hello, friends!

Sorry for the delay between posts.. a few things have happened... let's catch up.
First of all, we found out after 8 months of trying, we're pregnant!
Can't wait for July 14 to welcome Baby Derksema. 
We're not going to find out the sex ahead of time.
Our boy name is Edward Michael and our girl name is Evelyn Kathleen.
I have two best friends who are also pregnant and we are all due within a few weeks of each other.
More best friends are currently trying... hoping we'll just make a big Summer of it!
First trimester is complete on New Years Eve.  Cheers to getting some energy back!
Double cheers to not throwing up at all!
Shout out to my Uncle David who suggested a title for this post that just didn't quite make the cut...
 "Gettin' Jiggy with the Derksemas"

Also, in addition to my full time job, I've joined forces with Kitsap Chair Covers, an awesome local business offering specialty linens and chair covers.  Near and dear to my love of event planning and a great way for me to earn some extra income during maternity leave and *ahem* possibly afford me the opportunity to stay home full time one day.
Check out the website, and then call me to book *wink*:

Brian finished his first quarter of school in the Apprentice Program at PSNS.  He is loving working there and is making friends and excelling in his trade.  I couldn't be more proud/relieved.
Thankful for the health benefits and insurance for us and baby.

On the house front- we are still preparing to buy our first home.  Our current home has only two bedrooms upstairs in the finished part of the house, so we will be outgrowing it soon enough.  We plan to be here at least another year as we continue to save and get ready to buy our dream house.  We've made a goal, this is the last place we will rent!  Luckily we have amazing landlords/ friends who we rent from here who have allowed us to live in and care for the house as if it were our own- hence the painting and projects.  We'll continue loving it and happily bring baby home here and pass it back off to them when the time is right. 

We just put up our tree this weekend and Bri and my Dad hung the lights on the outside of the house... it's looking good around here. 

I have some projects in mind and am excited to start on baby's room... I'll be blogging about those.  And I'll start them just as soon as I can muster up some energy!

Right now my main project is crafting up this babe!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Big Changes on the horizon....

For the past two years, we have subletted the downstairs/basement level of our house.
Our tenant moved out a week and a half ago... so naturally, I had to dive into projects. The space is going to become something new... something to be revealed at a later date... but for now, take a look at how it's coming along!

There are two rooms shown here... the larger of the two featuring a light sandy beige color on the walls, as you can see with patching and touch ups.  The floor was painted probably about 20 years ago, a maroon color.  Next door, a lime green room with the floors painted dark green (!?)
Numerous coats of Antique White for the walls and "Battleship Grey" on the floor, and viola!

(Through that door is the formerly Green room)

I also did a number on this dresser...

I still need to do a once-over on the black where my tape wasn't perfect... and I think I am going to sand'er down to age it, but already a vast improvement I'd say!
I completed everything pictured in two days with some help from my Mom.
I am sore, my hands are blistered, and I've ruined a number of articles of clothing, but
damn I feel accomplished!

Stay tuned for upcoming blogs which will reveal how the space will be used. 
We really are luck to have this surplus of space to play with, aren't we?!
The downstairs features much more storage space, and a cute 1.75 bath... more on those later.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Fall Decor Show and Tell as well as a lil' Meet & Greet Action

Everyone in Blogland is showing their Fall Decor, so I thought I'd join the club.
But before we get to that, please join me in welcoming one of my nearest and dearest friends to the obsession of crafting! She bought her first glue gun this past week. *tear- so proud*
Everyone, meet Katie, isn't she purdy?
(Here we are together at her wedding)
Katie bought her childhood home and has logged many hours doing and re-doing to make it her own, and it's gorgeous.  She's also an amazing cook and bartender. 
Double score when we party at Katie's.
 Oh, and did I mention she married a guy who's last name is Perry?
So... yes, I get to say I kick it with Katie Perry.
She follows many blogs too, and found some inspiration on

for her first project, shown here:
Isn't it good enough to eat!?

In my own home, I finally pulled out the Fall Decor and have started on my mantel.  I, once again, have faught the urge to buy more junk, so decided to get creative.  I searched the house for things I already have, but have never used as Fall Decor before and mixed them with my seasonal-all-ready-in-stock items... here's what I came up with.
The wrought iron mirror is something I bought on clearance when I worked at Pier 1 Imports in high school.  The beautiful brown glass vases are from my wedding.  The butterfly hanging on the mirror is actually a Christmas ornament that came on top of a present from my Mom.  She too gave me the sign shown below when we fell in love with, and moved into our house.
I'm pretty pleased considering I started this project feeling like I needed to buy but I ended it feeling content with what I have.
After all, this season is all about counting the blessings you want already have. Am I right?
Oh, and yes, Betty Kitty has approved this Fall day for relaxing!
(Please excuse her unlady like pose)
Thank you for once again checking in to see what's going on in my world.  I appreciate you following my blog, please make sure to officially follow if you don't already. 

Monday, September 26, 2011


I usually use my blog as a platform for pleasant, dreamy things like crafts and projects and even a little elbow grease.  But today I'm a little fired up!
My soapbox platform: How annoying are door to door solicitors!?! 
IMO: Very!
Today is a coveted day off for me.  I woke up early and drank my coffee while making a menu list for the week.
I grocery shopped.
I baked! 
I budgeted.
I giggled to myself about things I read on Facebook.
I was having a lovely afternoon with the rain pouring down and the candles lit.
Then the doorbell rang.
There's a beautiful young girl standing there out of breath and soaking wet.
I am worried she's in danger or needs help.
Then, she launches into a whirlwind sales pitch...full of panting and rambling...
"Have-you-heard-of-Kirby-vaccuums?-They-are-the-ones-used-in-Mrs.Doubtfire-and-we-need-to-vaccuum-something, anything- in-your-house-we-have-to-do-seven-more-before-we-can-go-home-GULP!- and-many-of-your-neighbors-have-helped-us-and-even-GULP!-a-rug-or-anything-will-do!
I say... "I'm sorry, I'm just not interested."
She says "But-why-wouldn't-you-want-a-free-cleaning?!"
I say..."It's the end of one of my few days off and this just isn't how I want to spend it."
She says "But-all-you-have-to-do-is-reccomend-us-to-your-friends- it's Kirby's-way-of-advertising..."
(Me shutting door mid-sentence.)
So, I quickly whipped this up...
I do feel sort of sad for this dripping wet, gorgeous young lady...but,
I don't shop through my front door.
I really don't like shutting the door on your face.
I don't think I can go so far as to say "get another job."
But really, wouldn't you want to?

So, I ask you- do you have a "No Soliciting" sign?  If so, does it work?  I searched them online after this afternoon's events and read some reviews- that sales people see them as the doors to knock on because it means those people are bad at saying no.  (Not so in my case since I've never bought a single thing through my front door.) Or that good sales people just see them as a challenge.  I also read that some people still knock because they don't know what soliciting means (have mercy!) so I thought I'd be a bit more descript with mine.

Maybe tomorrow I will wake up and decide this is too forward and un-welcoming.  Or perhaps I'll decide my next project is to spell it out in lights.  I can't wait to hear your thoughts on the subject or experiences you've had!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

This guy...

This guy makes my world go round.
This guys makes me so proud.
This guy is my best friend.  Seriously, like, BFF.

Now that we finally got the call for his start date at his new job career, it's time to start making real steps towards buying our home. And making our family.  And looking forward.

My heart goes out to every other American family who has been affected by the recession and the economic down turn.  If you too have been waiting for your big break- know that good things happen to good people.  (And yes, I'm tooting our horn and calling us good people!)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things...

At work I have a boss and mentor who is always asking questions to make sure we have proper procedures in place to ensure we are doing our job efficiently and in a way that makes the most sense without adding extra steps.  Last week I decided to take a look at my home life in that way too.  Since I've been sa'darn busy with work this summer, I thought it only made sense for me to be sure that when I am home and having a little down-time, that I am doing it as efficiently as possible.  I found a few things around the house which have been a big time-saver and life-easer, so I thought I would share:

Maybe you all have already used these for years, but I'm new within the last year or so to them.  They are frozen chopped onions.  I enjoy cooking, but rarely do an entire meal from scratch... I'm a 50/50 Homemade kinda gal to get by.  My husband loves onions, and for something like $.99 per bag, I always have a bag on hand to add to omelets, ground beef, stir fry... just about any meal.

This little guy is pretty new to me, I've only used it once... but talk about quick, easy and affordable mani/ pedi!  Since my left hand looked a lot more polished (no pun intended) than the right, I just went back with a Q-Tip with nail polish remover on it and straightened up my edges. I think it was about $3 at Wal-Mart.

See the metal contraption- it's called a "Kwik-Kut" and it's awesome.  I pictured it here with the delicious guac.  It's basically a round blade with a handle and can be used for so much.  You just basically mash with it.  I've used it to cut up broccoli, cauliflower and carrots and then mixed them together with Greek yogurt and ranch dip.  Obviously makes a beautiful dip, egg salad, you could even cut biscuits.  I had searched many, many stores for this and had mentioned it to my girlfriend who is Super Woman of Shopping (shout out to Katie Perry!)  Next thing I knew, she had found them online and ordered them for me!  Love my girlfriends; they too are things that get me through the day!

Now, I'm most certainly the LAST PERSON ON EARTH to this party, but my husband and I just recently got android phones...
How did I survive?

Additionally, I have honed my grocery list and budget skills immensely since my hubs was laid off from his job with a custom home-builder in the height of the economic down-turn.  Every month we map out how much income we have, what days the bills are paid, how much we need for groceries & gas, etc- and then adjust it every time we spend something that wasn't budgeted for.  We have nearly eliminated the use of credit (only as it's intended, for real emergencies) and have paid off a number of bills in the past year.

As far as the grocery shopping is concerned, I've created an Excel spread sheet which was an idea I morphed from Real Simple and it's lined up in basic columns, the first of which being the meal, then the columns following are Produce, Dairy, Butcher, Bakery, Pantry, Household, Misc, etc.  So, for example; my husband eats the same lunch every day.  I list "Brian's Lunches" in the meal category.  Under dairy goes "American Cheese" under bakery goes "Honey Oat Bread" under Pantry goes "Cheez- Its" and so forth.  By separating them by column of area of the store, when shopping, it's quick and easy to get everything needed without running all over the store.
Lastly, there's this thing:
I keep it in the back of my car.  Since it's an SUV- if I've bought a few groceries, but not enough to fill the back/ trunk (if so, kudos to me!) then stuff rolls around.  Talk about distraction while driving while my fancy new Smart Phone is going off and there's a gallon of milk rolling & somersaulting on every turn!  So, I collect things in the basket in the car and bring them into the house this way.  Believe it or not, it's helped keep my car clean.  On days when I couldn't carry everything inside at once, it would usually stack up in the car, but now I have no excuse. 

Any tips or advice you have for a working girl who delicately balances her love of domesticity with her love of her career?  What's the best tool/ device/ life-saving item you use to keep your sanity?