11 Year Old Birthday Ideas!

Our oldest girl, Anne, will be 11 years old next week. I can hardly believe it! She’s nearly as tall as I am, and her feet and hands are already larger than mine! I had a really hard time figuring out what to get for her birthday. She’s really past toys and already has a bunch of the rubber band bracelet things, so I really wanted to get her interested in a hobby. I considered sewing but I’m not sure she’s there yet, and that would require a lot of oversight which I don’t have right now. So I found a local Y arts center and enrolled her in some art classes, including clay and the wheel! I found some sterilite bins at Walmart on sale after the college crowd was in school. I took the white drawer bins and spray painted them, then added some wall decals to make them fancy! I also bought her a jewelry box, some earrings, and a bunch of art supplies like pastels and clay. I’ll let you know how it goes next week! Here’s what I did with the Sterilite bins:

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I prepped the drawer units by pulling out the drawers. I made sure I was in a well-ventilated area (outside!) and put down tarps.




I used this Rustoleum spray paint that I found at Walmart that matched the colors in my wall decals. (This is not a paid post, this is what I picked all on my own!)

I made sure to stand far enough back that the spray paint did not pool on the plastic. An even spray was easy and it didn’t take much to coat the plastic.

Once dry, I put the drawers back in and added the wall decals. These decals are also from Walmart and they were like $1.50 for each the sheet of letters and the butterflies. They adhere well and dress up the units very well!



I hope this helps when you have to find something for your 11 year old!


It’s My Party and I’ll Cry if I Want

Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 32. While I feel like acting 22 on a lot of days, some days I really act 42. And the rest, well I just feel like I’m in my thirties. Having a kid makes you feel old. Chasing around a two year old makes you feel old. But having a kid keeps you young, and playing with a two year old makes you feel young again. My mom turned 60 yesterday. Yes, we share a birthday, among other things like stubbornness and bossiness. What will it be like when I turn 60? What will the world and politics and the weather be like? Will my daughter be married and have kids? Will everyone I love and cherish still be alive?

My sister and I found a cool idea on Pinterest for my mom’s 60th and we’ve been gathering memories from friends and relatives. Along with a TON of baby and young adult photos for a whole photo journal experience. It’s not finished, but I have the groundwork done to show my mom today. I hope she likes reading over everything as much as I did. There have been wonderful stories that I didn’t know about my mom, and wonderful sentiment from all her friends. I guess you can love a person and not realize how much they are loved and appreciated out of your family circle.

This weekend was very rough for me. I was very emotional, exhausted, frustrated and hopeless.

It’s just, I can’t see. After my stroke over a week ago, I lost the lower right quadrant of eye sight in both of my eyes. While some has returned with aggressive aspirin and Plavix therapy, I’m still missing a bunch. Like when I sit and look at the computer screen I can see maybe 2/3rds. So I type almost with my eyes closed, writing the words and letting my fingers remember the keys. Then when I am finished I proofread, hanging my head to the right so I can catch more of a glimpse. I have an easier time reading on my iPhone, and typing in small amounts is easy with the auto-correct. But my work is mainly done on the computer, which is pretty impossible right now. And I feel like a slacker, like with all the hospital and medical bills coming in maybe I should just get on it a bit. But then I get a raging headache from straining too much on the screen.

Cooking is challenging, especially cutting with sharp knives. Things like raw vegetables or meat must be cut very carefully.

Driving, well that’s impossible right now. Even if I already had my surgery and was allowed off basic bed rest, I can’t see well enough.

I tried putting on mascara today, the first time in over a week. I didn’t poke either eye out, so I consider that a small miracle!

We are taking it day by day. But it was hard over the weekend having so many people in and out of the house to help. I miss the solitude and quiet of just having my little family at home, along with a normal daily schedule and the ability to run to the store quickly.