For the Love…Of Blogging: Meet Me Monday

It’s here!  It’s finally here!

**For the Love…Of Blogging is in no way associated with the blog of a similar name, For The Love of Blogs. We did not know they existed (even though we googled our name first), but they appear to be another lovely way to get involved in the community of blogging.  All content in our event has been thought up by myself and Miranda on our own even though we realize there are probably similar ideas out in the blogging world already since not much out there is totally unique.  We apologize if you ever blogged about blogging and are offended by  us.  That is not our intent.

This is the first annual, For the Love…Of Blogging…um…event!  Yes, we shall call it an event!  A Blogging Event!

So what is “For the Love…of Blogging,” you ask?

It is a week-long commitment by me and my lovely friend, Miranda, to bring you our love of blogging, and give you some tips and fun and conversation all about BLOGGING!

We are starting the week with a meet and greet of sorts.  We are going to give you a little tour of our blogs and ask that you make up a little tour of yours.  Then, come back and link up (and grab the link for yourself to add to the bottom of your post)! This will be a lovely way to meet all sorts of new bloggers!  Hopefully you will add some to your reader and they will add you!

So here we go…at tour of Sluiter Nation.

First, you should check out my Author page to find out a little about me.  You’ll find out that I am a high school English/Spanish teacher and a part-time community college adjunct English instructor.  You will find out that I am a wife.  You will find out that I am a mother to the sweet and cuddley Eddie.

Then you should check out my The Nation page to learn about my little family that I blog about here.  There are some fun pictures there of my husband (Cortney) and I, and of our little man, Eddie.  It also gives you my contact info.

I started blogging back in July of 2007 after Cort and I traveled to Montana for a wedding of a friend.  I realized that my family and friends are all OVER the place and could use a place to keep up with us.  My first year of blogging was a snooze-fest.  Even for family and friends.

I became a mom in June of 2009 and the posts became more interesting.

In spring of 2010 I was diagnosed with postpartum depression and decided to share it with the internet.

Things sort of exploded from there.  I found community in other PPD/A moms and in other working moms.

And suddenly I found tons of blogs.

I started leaving comments.

And suddenly I had readers here!

I was suddenly being asked to guest post and to join groups.

I discovered that I don’t just like to talk a lot…I love to WRITE.

I started a participating in The Red Dress Club and Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop.

I started a meme called Top Ten Tuesdays.

Eventually I started a creative writing blog for my “not mom blog” writing called Exploded Moments, and a reading blog for book reviews called Katie’s Bookcase.

I have been featured here, here, here, and here (among other places).

I was asked to be–and accepted–a hostess spot with The Red Dress Club.

All these things in the last year…because I connected with other bloggers.  Other women like me.

I think the biggest thing I learned…and fell in love with…in the blogging world is the community that is formed here.  And community isn’t created out of me just talking to nobody.  It happens when I connect with others on their blogs and the connect with me here.

So while you get to know me here, remember:  this week will only be as helpful as the level of your participation.  The more you take part, the more you will get out of it.

I hope you learn something this week.

I hope you take risks in your blogging this week,

I hope you WIN something this week (we have a kazillion giveaways on Friday!)

But most of all?  I hope you have fun!

So tell us about YOU…and link up! It’s going to be a GREAT week!

Top Ten Tuesdays: Sluiter Nation Fix-ups

This week’s Top Ten is all about the things Cort and I would like to do to our house aka the physical Sluiter Nation.

We bought the Sluiter Nation casa exactly six years ago.  I moved in and six months later, after a lovely wedding, Cort moved in with me.

We have made some improvements on our house, which we bought new, but not very many.  Most deadlines we gave ourselves came and went because of lack of money or time.

Whatever the reasons, we still have a list of things we would like to do…aside from pack up and move to a larger place.

#10: I want to NOT see our weird neighbors.  Or more specifically, I want them to not see us.

See that larger “shed” back there?  Yeah, that belongs to our weird neighbor, Scary Terry.  We watched him ignore the instructions when he built that thing.  He had left over parts.  Also?  The roof caves in every winter.  To “get ready for winter”?  He goes inside and bangs the dents out.  This is the least of his weird.  I want a fence.  A tall one.  That you can’t see through…although you have to admit my drawing is fantastic.

#9 While we are outside…I would like to landscape the backyard a bit.It’s hard to see right now due to the snow, but we have a great backyard.  Cort has mad lawning rearing skills, yo.  I would really love to have a berm or something that, um, hides that large pole which is technically on our property.  Also a nice little flower bed next to the patio would be quaint.

#8 A Second Bathroom.

We have been excited about this bathroom since we moved in.  We even got the matching stuff for it as a wedding gift.  Five and a half years ago.  I have paint colors picked out.  I am pretty sure they don’t make the color I picked anymore.  Nevertheless I want this done.  WE want this done.  Before we have to have 12 adults and 1487979874232602 kids at our house this coming summer.  Yeah.  One bathroom won’t hold all that.

#7. A Big Boy bedroom for Eddie

Again, technically this room has been a “room in progress” for the past six years.  You can see how far we have gotten. Stuff we don’t want to look at or think about live here.  But instead?  We would love for our little man to live here.  Some changes may need to happen.  Like why do we have all those boxes?  yeah, I don’t know either.  And please ignore the fashionable tacky dust ruffle that is serving as a curtain so neighbor kids (aka Scary Terry’s offspring) don’t come and take a gander at our treasures crap.

#6 Organization

I didn’t even bother to spruce this picture up.  I mean, you can see my unmentionables hanging there to dry.  I think that spruces it up all on it’s own.  Anyway, this is our laundry room/storage room/my office.  It is sad.  Granted, it is MUCH more organized than it used to be (see my tubs with the labels for Eddie’s clothes.  Yeah, I am awesome).  We would like to finish this room–not just for looks but for functionality.  We need a shelving system.  We need this room to WORK for many different things.  Right now?  it is sort of a cold, scary place to be.

#5. Speaking of Organization…

I know one of Cort’s big wishes is to finish dry walling the garage and seal the cement.  I know he would like to get some sort of organizational system in here as well since we have a gallon of crap to fit in a pint-sized pail.   Oh…and two new vehicles would be nice too.  Just sayin’.  ya know, if we’re wishing here.

#4. Tile

I just really hate linoleum.  This was put in before we had a chance to choose otherwise.  It’s in our bathroom and entryway too.  I hate it.  I discolors.  It gets funky spots.  It’s just ugly.  Tile, please. (oh and I would also like new carpet.  We put the carpet that is in the basement in after we moved in and it is AWESOME.  I would like that throughout the house.  This “factory” shiz?  Sucks the big one).

#3. A face lift for our side lot

Ok perhaps we don’t need huge crazy flowers and a random happy little family trollop-ping through the yard, but it would be nice to get this cleared of the brush, leveled and then seeded so I can add pretty landscaping later.  Having the yard would just be nice.

#2. A bigger deck…and a way off from it.

Ok this was my craptacular attempt at creating stairs going DOWN from our deck.  As it is right now?  You can only get on and off the deck by way of the slider in our dining room.  Annoying seeing as we created a lovely patio just below with some lovely patio furniture.  However, if your hotdog is being made on the “upper deck” since it’s close to the kitchen, you would have to go inside the downstairs slider, go upstairs, through the kitchen and out to said “upper deck” to get your tasty wiener.  Then you would have to turn around and make this odyssey again to sit comfortably on the patio with your treat.  Now imagine if you forgot to get chips and dip.  Seriously.  it sucks.

Love the deck.  Hate the inconvenience.

#1. A family room we can use as a family

Our family room was the first thing we “finished” when we moved in.  It has soft, squishy carpet, warm colored walls, and awesome art (Pearl Jam and REM concert posters that are custom framed).  But there is just too much crap lying around too.  Take Cort’s Corner, for example.  While I like our desk and printer “stand” much better than what we used to have, there is still just too much lying around to let a toddler loose in here.

And what you can’t see in the top picture is the huge rack of video games and dvds that are just waiting to be pulled off shelves and tossed about.  Something needs to change.  We are super close to this being a great family room.  We just need a little more work put in…this is actually on the To Do list for Christmas break.  And when Cort gets a job (because he SOOO will), we would LOVE to get rid of the ugg-o furniture and get a nice, comfy sectional that we can all pile on for family movie night.  And maybe get a TV from this decade.  Ahem.

We love our little house…we really do…but there are somethings that we would like to make better.

How about you?  Is there anything YOU would change about your house?

Sluiter Nation Home Tour: The Room We Live In

By far the most aptly named room in our house is this one:  The Living Room.

I thought about cleaning it all up, fluffing pillows, and vacuuming before I started snapping pictures, but that would have been me lying to you.  And I don’t do that.

The only time this room is “clean” is after a day of cleaning.  It gets straightened up every  most some nights before we go to bed.

This room is hands down the most “used” room of the house.

It’s probably also our most changed room since having a wee one.

This room used to have quite a few beautiful breakable decorative touches knick-knacks. Now it is filled with loud fun toys for Eddie.

Some of the things I love and could never put away are still out though.  And Eddie has picked up this picture and pointed to his momma and daddy many, MANY times.

We are surrounded by love in this room.

Wonderful news has been shared here.

Friends from far away have gathered to catch up and share spirits in this space.

As a family we have faced hard times in this room as well.  The phone rings and this is where we sit to hear what is on the other end.

Our family spends a lot of time on the floor in this room.  The carpet here is probably the most dingy and worn down of anywhere else in our house.  But it is also the most comfortable.

This is where Eddie first rolled over.  First crawled.  First laughed.  First pulled up.  First cruised.  First walked. And tonight?  First climbed.

This is the room we hunker down in together in the cold storms of life.  We are surrounded by knowledge and love in this room.

Here is where I have spent countless hours reading and doing grad work and blogging and reading your blogs and commenting.

Here is where I sat for many hours of the wee morning, crying out with labor pains before finally going to the hospital.

Here is where I sat when I told Cort that we were going to have a baby…and that baby was Eddie.

Here is where I tearfully admitted I needed help.  That what was kicking my ass was probably PPD and I couldn’t make it go away on my own.

Here is where I cuddled a sick little boy until we both fell asleep.

I have stared at this wall while recovering from miscarriages.

That happy couple who had no idea what was ahead of them.

I have fallen asleep to those young kids smiling down on my while I cuddled a sweet newborn in my arms because I was too sore to get in my bed, and he was too snuggly to put in his.

I have cried at this couple.

I have smiled at this couple.

I have yelled at this couple.

I have pleaded with this couple.

I have prayed for this couple.

Some people say that the room with the Big TV is the room people flock to.

In our case it is true.

But this room?  Is not about the TV.

Sluiter Home Tour: Where we Chow Down

This is the circle of friends.  A co-worker friend got this for me as a gift a couple years ago and I love it.  It’s place is in the center of our dining room table–because I always pictured the dining/kitchen area as a place to gather.

I posted about the kitchen half of our kitchen/dining area a couple weeks ago.  This week we are jumping the island to take a peek at where we eat the food that is prepared.

It’s not very big.  It is not very big AT ALL.  In fact? This area is tiny.  We all get a little squeezed in when we have friends over.

And you can see that this area also doubles as the home office area for now.  We are working on that though.  Hopefully by the end of the year our laptops will live downstairs on the desk.  But for now?  Kitchen table.

Which causes clutter.  Which stresses me out.

ANYWAY….

Besides the circle of friends and our cool high top table, this is really my most FAVORITE thing in the dining area…maybe in the whole house.  This painting was done by our very best friend, Mat, (of m9 design).  He was just starting to do large, custom paintings out of his apartment back in Chicago.  We sent him this picture from our visit to Seattle:

He took the top and  made it into an awesome painting for us.  and he changed the time on the clock to read 6:18 since that is our anniversary:  June 18. And he made the sky blue, since that is just happier and looks better in painting form.

It is one of the first things you see when you come into my home, and I LOVE that!

One of the LAST things I want you to see is this:

Admittedly this looks REALLY good right now.  Cortney cleaned it up.  It was so bad that it gave me anxiety that soon we would have nasty bugs living in our house feasting off what Eddie left behind.

And splat mat or not, the carpet in this area is GROSS.

And so are the blinds next to his chair.  He enjoys rubbing his nasty hand on them.  I realize vertical blinds are not the worlds most beautiful window treatment to begin with, but this?  Makes them barfable.

I have a love-hate relationship with our dining area.  While I love the things we have put in it to make it ours and to make it cozy, I also hate that this is where many frustrations occur.

The battles with Eddie over not flinging food.

Budget discussions.

The battles with Eddie over eating certain foods.

Eddie getting stuck under chairs.

The constant clutter of having our computers and “work” on the dining room table.

But even with all those frustrations?  This is the place that we spend the most time together.  We eat all of our meals here together.  We chat and laugh here together. We discuss our days and our troubles and our joys here.

together.

If you are new to this tour and would like to see previously “shown” rooms, here are the links:
Master bedroom
nursery
Kitchen

Sluiter Nation Home Tour: The Room That Almost Wasn’t

UPDATE:
I just found out that I have guest posts running over at Back to the Basics for my friend, Julie AND at Not Super…Just Mom for my friend, Miranda.  So after you read this post, head over and show some love on their blogs!!

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Last week Tuesday, I unveiled my intent to show you all around Sluiter Nation, MTV cribs-style (mom, that means giving a tour).  I started with the Master Bedroom. This week, I am taking you to my favorite room in all of Sluiter Nation:  The Nursery.

 Come in, come in.  The baby is not sleeping.  This is his view though when he pushes that door open to his very own room.  The room that almost didn’t happen.

Don’t get me wrong, the room itself has always been there.  It was finished and ready for something when we bought the house almost six years ago.  First it was an office/guest bedroom.  I painted it this green color knowing I wanted it to be a nursery someday and I wouldn’t want to repaint.  And it was a GREAT guest bedroom.

When we found out we were pregnant the first time, we started getting rid of the bed and other things that made it a guest bedroom.  Then we weren’t pregnant.  It was still an office, but more of a “cloffice” as DesignHerMomma would call it.  It was a place for everything and nothing.  It got worse after our second miscarriage.  It was just piles, a computer, and occasionally? Me.

But then Eddie stuck.  He decided he was going to be our son.  And we turned this room of broken dreams into a warm, room of his own.  I have never put so much effort into decorating and placing things in a room.

It needed to be apparent whose room this was–in case anyone forgot.  And there needed to be a theme.  All the pretty nurseries had themes (by the way, no other room in my house has a theme.  Those rooms?  Are a mishmash of things collected over time).  This room was planned and thought out in my heart.

It needed books.  My son would love books.  He would be a lifelong reader like his mom.  I collected books.  Books and animals.  As I mentioned here, Cort and I had been collecting animals for this room since before we were married.  Every zoo we went to was another animal added to my “nursery pile.”  So we (and by “we” I mean “I”.  Cort totally indulged me however he could in this.  I am eternally grateful for his compassion and understanding that I needed this room to be perfect) filled his room with books and animals.

Animals and books and comfort and safety.  This is his space.  This is his place to be.  This is his.

And after all that planning and “putting” and rearranging?  After all those hours that I sat in the room by myself with my big pregnant belly and read the books aloud to my growing baby?  He was there.  And we put him in his room.

Toys in a toy box.  Crumpled up jammies waiting for the evening routine.
snugly blankies and soft friends waiting for naptime or bedtime.

His first friend on the wall by his changing table.  Even in the midst of crabby colic, this elephant got smiles and coos. I’ve often given this elephant the stink eye wondering what he had that I didn’t back then.  He just smiles knowingly back at me.  Jerk.

Little shoes waiting for outside play.  Resting from all the adventures of the morning.
And our spot.  OUR spot.  Where Eddie and I (and Eddie and daddy) spend countless hours rocking and rocking and singing and reading and rocking.
Eddie’s room.  I still find myself sitting in the rocking chair looking at the room from that view (above) and trying to remember how the room used to be.  But the memory escapes me.  Memories never escape me.  But that one is fading.  And I am ok with that.  I love this room.  I love what this room means. This room?  Means we are a family.  We are Three.

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BIG NEWS!  Tonight we found out that all the paperwork went through for Cortney’s sister, MacKenzie and her husband, David for their adoption!  They are officially on waiting lists!  You can read about their journey at their blog Stepping Stones

They will be holding an Adoption Auction Fundraiser over at their blog from Thursday, July 29-Sunday August 1st.  There are TONS of great things going up for auction to help them raise the gazillion dollars it costs to bring their child(ren) home from Ethiopia.  The auction is open to the whole wide world as far as I know and I think they are still accepting any donations for items/services to bid on.

ALSO, for those who are local?  Sluiter Nation will be having a HUGE yard/garage sale on Saturday August 14 that we have named Kids in the Yard (Sale).  All proceeds will go to Kenz and Dave to help bring our little family members home.  If you would like to donate stuff to be sold, let me know and we will arrange to get it.  Otherwise, we hope to see you there!!!

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