Friday, March 30, 2012

A little Update...

It's been awhile since I've let you in on what's going on with the "Big D", so I thought I'd bring you up to speed. A lot has happened.

In January, we went to court in a mad rush, because "he" decided he was moving to Wisconsin for a job. All of a sudden, it was imperative to get before a judge and get an agreement. Hallelujah! That's what I had been pushing for since SEPTEMBER, but whatever's convenient for him...

Over night, his story changed. He went from claiming a visitation schedule of every other weekend and one night each week wasn't enough {even though he never called and made an effort to see him about once a month} to claiming a move to Wisconsin was "better" for Preston. This way he could "start a college fund" for him and "pay his health insurance". I guess quality face-to-face time is overrated...

He was VERY agreeable. He gave me the house and full custody of Preston...if I would take on all the debt. I wasn't thrilled with this "settlement", but I was getting the better end of the stick {my son}! He also agreed to give me the entire tax refund and pay one year of spousal support. While doing the math, I was still absorbing A LOT financially, but it was SOMETHING, so I agreed. I just wanted it to be over, and I wanted to make sure I could afford to support Preston on my own. Keeping the house was also very important to me, because I didn't want to disrupt this little boy's life anymore!

With this new found income, I was able to immediately get off assistance and step forward, and I was feeling fantastic. He was to begin paying on February 1st, and I had until June 1st to refinance the house in my name.

 Immediately, I began the refinancing process. I was able to turn our fifteen year mortgage into a twenty year and combine one existing loan. This ended up saving me about $350 a month! I was on cloud nine...

Then, January 30th came {moving day}, and we never heard from him. He didn't even try to say good-bye to his baby! I was devastated. Heartbroken. Confused. ANGRY! But those words don't even sum up my real feelings... 

Then, February 1st came, but the money didn't. With a little texting pressure, I was able to get payment from him by the 15th, and I was still optimistic that he would hold up his end of the bargain. He called Preston on February 17th {Preston's 2nd Birthday} and again on the 18th. I asked him to please begin calling on a regular basis so Preston can count on it and look forward to it. He said he fully planned on doing so...

Then, March 1st and the 5th and the 15th came and went, and nothing. No money. No phone calls. Nothing.

As of right now, he refuses to pay me, so back to court we go. He informed me {via text} that he won't be paying me until he's forced to. This time around, my lawyer is able to ask for him to pay my court fees, because he's not following through on the original agreement.

As of April 1st, he will be over $1,400 behind, and I'm feeling the pressure. I do not know why he has to make everything SO difficult on me. I don't understand why he must fight me on everything and why he's refusing to follow through with the agreement he signed! I don't understand why he can't even {at the VERY LEAST} pick up the phone and talk to his son. I don't have the energy to babysit him and go back through this legal process, but I also don't really have a choice.

I'm stressed. I get no parental support from him and adjusting to this single parent thing has run a toll on me. Some days, I want to climb in a hole and not come out, but I can't, and I won't...I promise you that!

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Birthday Boy

My "baby" turned TWO on February 17th!

I'm way behind on this post {as usual}, but I still wanted to share. We kicked off the morning of his birthday with a little surprise. The night before, I blew up six packages of yellow and green balloons and quietly snuck each one in his room. It was so much fun {and affordable} that I hope to make it a new tradition...

We spent the day together running errands and went to lunch at his favorite spot. Then, we ended the day with a fabulous tractor PAR-TAY! Details on the big event coming soon. I promise!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spring Cleaning "Disaster"

In case I haven't mentioned it before, I work at Lowe's. I'm in the appliance department officially, but I'm training to be in the kitchen design department. It's a great place to work, but it's easily the most involved/challenging job I've ever had, and I used to teach preschool!

While I love Lowe's {and always have}, one of the MAJOR perks of my job {besides the constant inspiration and eye candy} is the discount...

Tuesday, I decided to do a little spring cleaning. When we first moved in, we painted the grate on our storm door to match the shutters.

I watched "him" easily take the grate out, paint it and put it back in. Since the door needed some serious scrubbing, I decided to take the grate out. Only, it didn't come so easily this time! I ended up bending it, bending the door and pounding the door back in place with a hammer. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get the grate back in, and I discovered that it supported the glass. Without it, the glass rattles, and there's a BIG gap at the top {about an inch} that critters can fly in, so I was left with no choice...

I ran to Lowe's and bought a new storm door. With my discount AND a sweet coupon, I ended up getting this for $261.20 {Reg. $319}. Not a steal but definitely a deal!

Mine looks just like this, but it will have bronze hardware! It also has a retractable screen, and I think I'm really going to like that feature. We don't have central air, and it gets HOT in Virginia {hot to this Michigan girl's standards}!

I am a little bummed to lose my "Welcome" decal though. Oh, well! It is what it is.

The tentative goal is to have it installed this week, but that will depend on my handyman dad's schedule...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Preston's Toddler Room: As Easy as 1, 2, 3

You might remember this original post showcasing Preston's 3-in-1 easel. I have had so much fun watching him explore his artistic ability and strengthen his fine motor skills with his easel, and it's EASILY my favorite DIY project to date! I mean what's not to love?!

My only issue was finding some way to store his supplies in a handy cute way.

I racked my brain for creative solutions. Then I had an idea. I was going to keep it simple, but I needed three pails. The hunt began, and I looked and relooked everywhere. Nothing was right, or they didn't have enough on hand. I was getting frustrated!

Last week, I finally found the perfect shade of red pails at Hobby Lobby {$1.19/each}, and they had enough! 

Little bronze hooks were easy enough to find, but I actually got them in sets of two at Kmart for around $2.50/set. The finishing touches were the little wooden numbers I've been hanging onto forever.

I can't remember where I actually bought them, but I do remember that they were $.50/each on clearance! I happened to have the perfect shade of blue paint on hand, so I just painted them and hot glued them in place. Some might say they're a little large for the pails, but they don't bother me...

Gosh! Isn't it c-ute?!

And Preston seems to love the easy access. He pulled his stool up to it right away and got to work. Why didn't I think of that?!

Oooohhh! I'm so in love with this entire project, and it really was super easy to do!

This post has been linked to:

Addicted 2 Decorating

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Spring Mantel

My spring mantel is complete, and it's ready for it's debut! I am rushed for time though, so this post will be more pictures and less talk...BIG surprise. I know.

Keep in mind that I STILL don't have a "proper" working camera, so ALL of my blog pictures are being taken on my iPhone and edited at {OMG! What are we going to do when they close in April?!}

Not much was invested here. The felt egg garland was purchased for $3.99, and the adorable white bunny was originally $9.99 {but I had a $5 gift card} at Target. The sequins eggs were bought at Hobby Lobby for around $.60/each. They originally had sticks, but I snipped those suckers off and used them as filler in my little milk glass dish. I love that little dish {originally $3 antique mall purchase}.

The topiaries were clearance Pier 1 finds {$29.95 each-plus extra $10 off coupon}. This is something I would normally consider a splurge and not necessary, BUT I have been on a mad topiary hunt for over a year now. From what I've seen, finding them under $30 {for their sizes} was a steal!

I still struggle with decorating the DVD player. It has to go there, and the cords have to go there {because I don't want to drill holes in that wood}, so if ANY of you have an ideas...I'm all ears! I kept the candle holder from my Valentine's Day mantel, but I just changed the candle colors. I had some pastel tea lights on hand, so it was an easy update.

That about wraps it up. It's simple, but it has enough presence for me and will be SUPER easy to take down {always a plus for us busy mommies}. I'll leave you with a larger view of the entire wall, only if you promise not to pay too much attention to what's inside those built-ins. I have BIG plans {and all the supplies} for that DIY. I just need to find the time...

Happy Spring

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Different Kind of Before and After

I don't think I've ever shared here that I met Cari Cucksey, of HGTV's Cash & Cari, last spring! My mom and I happened to be in Michigan {my home state} for a wedding, so we planned a deliberate trip to her Northville, Michigan store {with my aunt and cousin}.

I was SUPER excited to simply go to Repurpose, so you can imagine the level my excitement climbed when SHE ACTUALLY WALKED IN!!!!

Cari was super sweet, answered ALL my questions, and even posed for a picture with me...

Since it's almost been a year, and what a year it's been, I thought it would be fun to demonstrate the wight lose I've accomplished since then! Check out the before and after. I guess divorce is good for one thing...