Wednesday, June 22, 2016

And Now, We Wait

So the nursery is done. 

It should be noted that these are before photos

Like most things we do, there was some thought into how we got this room ready. 
How about a tour? 
A virtual tour. 
You all know how I feel about last minute company

We did keep the Compromising Crib theme throughout the room. 
A nice reminder at 3:37 AM that this is a partnership.
The Compromising Crib: Tearing down an old barn, then moving it 
into the house because we both had our heels dug in.

Have you read about one of the greatest lessons I've ever learned?

Anyway, back to the tour - 

Our inspiration for this little room that will hold our entire world:

Not knowing the gender but knowing how this kid will be raised, we went with a lot of neutral tones and a vintage western theme. I found the perfect fabric at Hobby Lobby and my wonderful Aunt Susan of Susan Bell Upholstery made us curtains as a shower gift. 

Family friends gave us a beautiful crib that we really loved. Then someone called it a "double-drop-sided-death-trap" and these clueless parents-to-be got a tick nervous. I went on to order this DaVinci Jenny Lind crib for peace of mind purposes only. 

It just wouldn't be a Lindsay Bowman project if I didn't recycle something from a former life. The bookshelf came out of 851 David Ross Road. Thanks to whoever's Dad made these shelves years ago. They were passed down from sorority sister to sorority sister to sorority sister to sorority sister to sorority sister to sorority sister and left Purdue's campus with me. Sharpie names still on top, and all. Function over fashion. 

I found this little dresser at A Corner Cottage in Noblesville, IN during an annual girls' day with Purdue friends. I loved the blocks as drawer pulls, but Cody had an even better idea. 

He sanded the dresser down and took it to one of our favorite shops, The Vintage Market in Cambridge City, IN (you have to visit this store to do it justice!). There they painted it and distressed it to fit the room. 

Then he found these drawer pulls and painted them out in his shop to make them look like Angus calves. 

Many gave me the advice to buy a comfortable chair since we'll be spending a lot of hours in it. I worked with Bullerdick Furniture to get this rocker-glider-swivel chair designed and put together. I also worked with them on a no-questions-asked warranty that covers bodily fluids, Sharpie marker, nail polish and anything else I could think of before signing the paperwork. 

Let's get a close-up of that fabric before it gets 
abused by a tiny, popsicle-wielding tyrant. 

Tags will stay on as long as possible. 
Which is right about the time I'll yell, 
"This is why we can't have nice things!!"

The quilt, you ask?

Friend and co-worker Cindy surprised us with this quilt just last week. Isn't it beautiful?!
The kicker: She didn't know the neutral/vintage western theme before creating this for us. 

I can't believe how perfectly it fits into the room and even matches the curtains. 

Every perfect stitch!

We were also handed down this family quilt with some pretty special initials on it. 

To encourage less writing on the walls. 

A Shepler Family Favorite:
Harry Shepler's Palomino stud horse, 

Every kid needs a horse, right?
Well, this is the only one our kid is getting. 
Already kid-broke.

Is Book-It still around? If so, we need a new button to start earning free pizza ASAP.

We found what we thought would be an ideal dresser/changing table at Building 125 in Cambridge City, except the color and a few of the options weren't quite right. We went on to work with the owners to order this one in the color, solid top and pulls that suited this place perfectly. The crew at 125 were wonderful to work with - another must-stop-shop if you're in this area. 

How long will 138 diapers last? 
I'll let you know.
I'm hoping a year. 

One of my favorite personal accents: Vaccum lines that haven't been touched. 
I thought them important enough to document. 
Makes us look fancy. 

And now, we wait. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

What Dad Really Wants This Father's Day

Father’s Day on the farm can be tricky. It’s a day to celebrate a man who typically doesn’t enjoy the three things that encompass the holiday:
  1. Being the center of attention
  2. Celebrations when there is work to be done or
  3. Receiving Hallmark cards that make his nose burn,  his eyes water and a mysterious tennis ball develop in his throat.

Father’s Day on the farm can also be tricky for the rest of us. What do you buy a man who has everything? Or, at least knows how to use bailing twine and WD-40 to fix/create whatever he needs?

To Get All of His Tools Back

You can buy Dad all the 101-piece socket sets you want, but what he really wants for Father’s Day (and Christmas and his birthday) is just to get his tools back.
To where they belong.
In one piece.
He doesn’t need a 1/47th,  3/734th or 8/39290 th socket.
He needs to open his toolbox and find his 1 1/16th wrench and a pair of pliers that still cuts wire.  
Just bring it back…all of it.
And don’t “borrow” it again.

A Gate Opener

This Father’s Day, give your farm dad the gift of a gate opener. Someone who has the intuition to know where he’s traveling to next. Someone who knows what gates can be left open and which ones need to be shut. Someone who knows how to do two things, well: hustle and pick up a gate, rather than drag it on the ground. Relieve Dad of this familiar, time-consuming scenario: Stop the truck or tractor in front of the gate. Climb down. Open the gate. Walk back to the truck or tractor. Drive it through the gate. Then stop the truck or tractor behind the gate. Climb down. Close the gate. Walk back to the truck or tractor. And finally get to work.

To Work With His Kids, No Matter The Age

Farm Dads kind of miss their help when they grow up, even if said help isn’t that much help, at all. He may miss the tiny shadow following his every move and mocking his every word (this can be dangerous most days). This Father’s Day, give Dad the gift of companionship and conversation while he works towards the success of the family farm. Sometimes he doesn’t need a tie; sometimes he needs his buddy by his side while he does what he loves. 


An Inch of Rain

(Unless, of course, they are in the thick of wheat harvest or baling hay)
I understand you can’t exactly “gift” someone a perfect day of weather (no one would ever create a wedding registry at Bed Bath & Beyond if that were the case), but you can do some things to guarantee a mid-June rain shower. For the perfect Farm Father’s Day gift, follow these easy steps:  
  1. Pray for rain
  2. Wash your car
  3. Mow hay
  4. Leave all the windows open – vehicles and home - and go somewhere far away
  5. Pray for rain

May your tie count be short but your tool count be exactly where you think it should be. 
Good luck keeping track of that. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Dear S̶o̶n̶ D̶a̶u̶g̶h̶t̶e̶r̶ You,

Dear Son Daughter You,

You’re coming soon, and when it comes down to it, I’m not really sure how to process that thought.

I’ve wanted to be a mother for as long as I can remember, though that reminder doesn't make any of this any less nervewracking. 
I logged a lot of adolescent hours playing house with a Cabbage Patch on my hip. 
I've always been a fan of mom jeans. 
And my dream job has always been a stay-at-home mom. 
That’s a reflection of the kind of mother I have and the childhood I had, I guess.

As time speeds up and your birthday gets closer, I’ve been thinking of a few things I want to tell you. Important stuff. I figured the best way to ensure that I remember each of these very important bits of advice is to write them down. This will be an on-going project, but let’s start here:

Dear Son Daughter You,
On your most discouraging days, do not attempt to fold a fitted sheet. It will only make things worse.

Dear Son Daughter You,
Drink water. A lot of it. The more water you drink, the better off you’ll be. Don’t ask about the science behind this (you'll soon learn I'm not a dietician), just trust me.

Dear Son Daughter You,
Never trust a man wearing two things: white sunglasses or skinny jeans. Run from a man who is wearing both simultaneously. For the future of humanity, we can only hope these two trends are long forgotten before you learn to read this letter.  

Dear Son Daughter You,
You’ll make great strides if you listen with the intent to learn, rather than the intent to respond. I’ll remind you of this in fifteen years.

Dear Son Daughter You,
As a guide, the zipper on your pants should always be longer than the palm of your hand.

Dear Son Daughter You,
Be nice to people. Just, be nice. It takes nothing out of your pocket or any additional time to treat people with kindness and to be pleasant. People will forget what you said, they’ll forget what you did, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel. Leave people feeling better.  

Dear Son Daughter You,
Save your money. Seriously. From your first steer, to your first job, to your first Christmas bonus: Put a little bit back from every wage you earn. I cannot describe the importance of having money saved, not spent.

Dear Son Daughter You,
It is pertinent that you learn how to drive a manual transmission.
Stick shift.
Three on the tree.
Grind ‘em ‘til you find ‘em.
Your dad and I’s favorite vehicles were manuals. Someday when you’re 30 and a stable adult we’ll tell you those stories.

Dear Son Daughter You,
For our daughter: I feel like now is when I should apologize for your father’s behavior on the evening of your first date (that’s not happening until you’re at least 16 and can drive a manual, by the way), but I’ll never undermine what may go through his head on this night. He really does have your best interest in mind. He has the protective instincts of a lion and the tender heart of a…..kitten? (He is so going to kill me when he reads this) Your Grandpa Bowman always said that the guy who wasn’t scared of him (or the three loaded rifles he kept propped against the woodwork of the entry door) was the one he could trust with his daughter. He was right. Your father is going to try hard to scare off each of your suitors, with his thunder voice and few, rigid words. One day we’ll laugh about it at your wedding. I hope.
For our son: When it comes to dating, don’t be an idiot. 

Dear Son Daughter You,
Don’t be afraid to ask questions in order to learn. I wouldn’t have had to take chemistry twice at Purdue had I asked questions the first time.

Dear Son Daughter You,
Be conservative on how you use your energy and resources.
This means:
Shut off the lights when you leave a room.
Turn off the water as you brush your teeth.
Sleep when you can. Please, oh please, oh please, sleep. You’ll want all those nap opportunities back when you’re 31. Trust meeee.
It also means that you should spend your time and energy with people who are more like a fountain than a drain. It may not make sense now, but I’ll follow up on this when you’re in junior high.

Dear Son Daughter You,
Travel. Take off and see things. Go places. Meet people. See the county. See the state. See the country. See the world (this is where saving your money comes in darn handy). Go someplace that makes you feel incredibly small and insignificant. It will only be then that coming home feels so extraordinary.

Dear Son Daughter You,
Math or science question? Ask your father.
English question? Ask me.
All other questions? Pray about it.
You’ll probably need to pray for a clear mind on the day of your spelling tests, too. That’s genetic.

Dear Son Daughter You,
Some proven facts to save you frustration down the road:
You’ll only find a coupon three days after it expires.
The grocery store and theme park lines to your left and right will always move faster than the one you’re in.
Saying or thinking these words will ensure disaster: "I hope I don’t see anyone I know" 
A man who can make a woman laugh has a major advantage over one who can’t. 

I think that is it for today. I'll continue to write things down as they cross my mind. Because your father and I both know one of the biggest lies I tell myself is I don't need to write this down; I'll remember it.... 

You're very special, already.