dancing with the highs & the lows

we laid there & laughed, fairly loudly actually. especially since it was only 5 something in the morning. we had fallen into bed after a full weekend the night before, i’m pretty sure we were laughing about something then too, promising each other we would “definitely get up” when the alarm went off, at 5am. however he said as soon as hit the snooze, it was impossible for him to fall back asleep because i was snoring,which he mimicked for me…thus the loud laughter erupting from our bedroom at 5 something.

but i don’t snore dude.

umm yeah babe. sometimes you do.

loud laughter once again. & apologies in advance to my hope spoken roommates. snort.

i guess it always surprises me a little when i look back on a season or even just a day and think about the mixture of the highs & lows. intermingling & handing off the baton to each other as if its just how it’ll always be. this past week has been just that. celebrations. frustrations. dreams coming true. misunderstandings. birthday cakes & ice-cream. credit card usage because the checking account is empty. high fives and heavy sighs. all of it. highs & lows tag teaming up. quick reminders of  our need for grace as well as the healing of a good belly laugh.

i stayed home from church sunday because basically i was feeling a little overwhelmed with work & commitments. an example in itself of the highs & the lows. work=good. feeling overcommited=not so good. dan promised he’d share with me later this week about the message, which was so relevant to our current , seemingly ongoing, situation…that of not worrying about the future. we’re pumping ‘em in & out of college at a rapid pace over here. something that just because i’ve done this before, still makes me feel like i’m only their age anyways…so why must they grow up & move out? no really. why?

oh but they do. in the blink of an eye my friend. they do. highs & lows of parenting in its finest form. the how will i live without the baby in the house tears mixed with the OHMYGOSH i’m so proud of you big hugs and high fives. life.

in the immortal words of truvy, “laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.” new beginnings, celebrations, necessary endings, and tear-filled “but it won’t ever be the same again” hugs…

so~~

breaking news in the knudsen home~~~

EMILY GOT ACCEPTED TO UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA!!!

i’m not of fan of capital letters, especially all caps, but OHMYGOSH!!

this is big. reallybig. UGA is quite the competitive school and has become a tough entrance. high standardized test scores and a full well-rounded resume are expected. ( or so it seems). emi has watched her sister thrive at UGA. she has been there for glorious game days & family weekends when the golden leaves & cool breezes created chamber of commerce days. she’s seen sorority sisters criss cross their fingers as they represent at the beach as well as when they’re glamorous and heading to a formal. bulldogs painted on cheeks & nearly 100,000 call the dawgs. SEC in it’s finest. and in the south, we’re all about some saturday SEC football.

she checked her phone as we were heading out to celebrated caroline’s 14th birthday friday evening and immediately wept. the child wept in the back seat while dan & i looked at each other wide eyed & i’ll be honest, a little shocked. i have never seen someone MORE excited about their college acceptance than my sweet em.

she wants it all. game day. greek life. young life. freshman dorm. callin’ the dawgs. athens. red&black. ALL OF IT! and i am so happy for her.

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our little bit turned 14 on the first day of spring. this child is seriously a breath of fresh air. she’s never in a bad mood. ever. easy to please. level headed. not one for drama. loves jesus. hipster. urban outfitters style. black hightop converse. flipping, jumping, ripstick kid. leather necklace. wrist full of bracelets. chocolate, coffee and dairy queen fan. bright. and loved deeply.

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so yes….i’ll dance with the laughter & i’ll hold my head up through the tears. i’ll cherish the days of joy as well as the simple seemingly monotonous ones too. and the days full of tears, heavy sighs and disappointments… thankful they are brief and just the backdrop on which the glory days shine even brighter.

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March 24, 2015 - 9:47 am

Sharon - Love this post. I’m feeling the same emotions over here with Chace heading to UGA also, but you put words around the emotions so well. I’m sure we will see a lot of eachother over the next 4 years. Thanks for your words and perspective. It was very helpful this morning

March 24, 2015 - 10:26 am

Michelle - As always I love your post. Congratulations to your daughter for getting into UGA. It is such a beautiful school with so much going on. My daughter is a junior in HS and UGA is her number one pick. Have a blessed day!

March 24, 2015 - 11:21 am

Bethanie - I so totally get all of this…I only have two sets of hormones, schedules, drama, school choices, etc. to deal with…so you, my friend, deserve a Sunday off and a medal!! Congrats to Emi, our best friends son just got his acceptance as well…fun days ahead!

March 25, 2015 - 8:29 am

amy - i just love reading the updates about your girls! it makes me feel like i’m your neighbor! seeing motherhood from your perspective helps me to soak in each moment with my little 6 year old! congratulations, emily!

March 25, 2015 - 10:19 am

giosmama2626 - That’s so wonderful. Congrats to Emi on getting accepted. Totally awesome!
I don’t know what I’ll do when my little man goes off to college. It’s less than 10 years away. Time flies by, doesn’t? I’m not even prepared for it. Married or not, the home will be far too empty. I’m for sure not ready for that. I cannot even imagine how you must be feeling in that regard. SIGH.
You’ve done great with these girls, though. You have so very much to be proud of.

HUGS!

March 25, 2015 - 10:33 am

natalie cooper - oh paige! i just love reading your blog.
and i know emi will probably want to go a chi o, but if she needs a rec to dg just let me know. i’d be more than happy to fill out one for her–i was one at uga 15 years ago. :)

March 25, 2015 - 10:38 am

christina - happy birthday to caroline … she is definitely a breath of fresh air and such a little cutie – i loved seeing her “lil girl” pictures!

and big congratulations (and high fives) to emily.

what a proud momma you must be!

March 25, 2015 - 10:41 am

Maria - How do you know EXACTLY what a stranger needs on the exact day she needs it!?!? Thank you…once again…for sharing your heart. Highs and lows…good and not so good…all in God’s plan and you’ve brought HIS perspective to the forefront :)
Thank you!!!

March 25, 2015 - 10:41 am

Maria - How do you know EXACTLY what a stranger needs on the exact day she needs it!?!? Thank you…once again…for sharing your heart. Highs and lows…good and not so good…all in God’s plan and you’ve brought HIS perspective to the forefront :)
Thank you!!!

March 26, 2015 - 6:29 am

patty - congratulations to emily and happy birthday to ‘little bit’. :) i hope they both have a beautiful year of more joy than tears, and that they face those challenges when they come with the courage that you do. xo

March 26, 2015 - 7:34 pm

pam - Wow, congratulations on another one in! These are bittersweet days for sure my friend, and they go just as fast as the middle school and high school years. My second one is now out of college just got her first REAL job as a NICU nurse. I’m so excited for her but a little sad that one more has now moved completely into adulthood.

It doesn’t get any easier to watch they grow up. I am embracing life with just one at home but waaaaa, I miss my babies! Let’s all just cry some big tears together while we raise our pom poms to their sucess.

my little chalkboard wall projects

you guys know i am all about my personal disclaimers. so allow me to begin by stating the obvious. these photos are from my old-dying-a-slow-death iPhone. these are not high-res cool interior pinterest worthy shots. secondly. i am not a DIY person. i’m more of a let’s get it done, non-perfectionist painter. there are a plethora of youtube videos & blog posts out there that will give you all the best of the best tips on using chalkboard paint and why you season it, etc. i’m just going to give you the skinny on my experience. plus our bathrooms are not all updated with fancy new hardware. so this is like a real life, things aren’t always pinterest perfect are they? gosh. nothing like throwing my own self under the bus!

so now that the expectation bar has been set at a reasonable level,  let’s begin. i have three spaces to share with you. one- a downstairs half bath painted with chalkboard paint. two- the girls upstairs full bath painted with smoky charcoal by glidden. and three-caroline’s room which has three grey walls (smoky charcoal–not shown in this post) & one full chalkboard wall. it was getting a little confusing so hopefully this will help you follow along. both the smoky charcoal & the chalkboard paint were purchased at walmart.

caroline has asked nicely for quite some time if we could update her room. her room was probably my long time fave of all the girls rooms so i was shamelessly slow on this adventure. i painted it a seaglass-like pale blue with a little hint of periwinkle when we first moved here 18 years ago. it was originally madison’s room and then became caroline’s nursery.  sigh. that blue was a color that always reminded me of the beach homes that i love in seaside. we used shabby chic linens and the furniture was white and the walls were free of the usual nail holes that i tend to make changing out wall art. sorta my last hoorah of little girl rooms if you will. but she’s a cool teenager now and wanted something more “her”. they’ve all done that over the years but with the baby i guess i drug my feet. so we talked about different ideas & she decided she wanted to go with a dark grey on the walls & one large wall of all chalkboard. i knew the process would take a little time & money, neither of which was available when we began planning. she’s been patient & truth be told, we still have a few things to do. i purchased a great tapestry for christmas & we’re still deciding on the best way to hang it. we’re also still searching for a few more bed pillows…so until the entire room is completely finished i’ll just share the chalkboard wall.

okay. chalkboard walls and the infamous seasoning process. here we go.

seasoning the chalkboard is really important. like really important my friends. don’t go through this entire process ( especially if you’re painting a large surface) and opt to skip this step. chalkboard paint is very porous. if you do NOT season it, the first time you write on the surface the chalkboard will absorb the chalk and create ghost-like images. it won’t erase well and it will be quite a frustration. seriously, google “why season a chalkboard” and the professionals will walk it out for you. it’s a pain to do on large surfaces but it’s a must! i’ll share a few more steps further down in the post.

to tell you truth, i lost some steam seasoning the bathroom chalkboard. ( i painted it first thinking it would be easier since it was a smaller space). it made a huge mess and i don’t do well with chalk mess. in retrospect, i think it was because logistically a bathroom is just tricky. tile floors, sinks, mirrors & windows made that aspect a little more of a challenge. we probably won’t actually write on the walls in the bathroom as i have a huge chalkboard in my studio and who wants over-kill? but i love the texture & look of the walls in there with just the finished chalkboard…sans writing. but never say never right?

downstairs bath before~

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downstairs bath after~all four small walls are chalkboard

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upstairs, girls bath before~

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upstairs girls bath after. smoky charcoal by glidden used. ( so hard to photograph small baths)

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let’s switch gears back to the chalkboard. are you dizzy yet?

my wise girlfriend recommended purchasing gym chalk. genius. can you image covering a huge wall with tiny piece of chalk after tiny piece of chalk? the block of chalk i purchased came from academy sports & came with two blocks. i used one for the entire small bath & the other for caroline’s wall…and had some left over. she also recommend placing it inside a baggy because…well…chalk is messy. genius. cover the entire surface with the chalk. this took me hardly any time at all.

for wiping off the season process,  you can go a couple different routes. i used a damp mr. clean eraser and then went back over the walls a couple more times with a damp bath towel. you can pass on heading to the gym that day. trust me. seasoning caroline’s wall didn’t make as big a mess i assume because her floors are carpeted which helped absorb all the chalk flying around in air. this takes a little longer.

i also read on a popular paint website that using an actual eraser, like old-school, is discouraged. so i keep a baggy with a wash cloth in caroline’s room for her to use whenever.

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this is after a few minutes of wiping the first coat with the mr. clean eraser. hang in there. it gets better. i promise. 25paigeknudsen.com

this is after i wiped again with damp towels. two times..maybe three.

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its obviously personal preference how much aged chalkboard effect you want for your wall. the girls might have wiped off a smidge more before they created a flipping masterpiece.

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tada.

i promise to share the full reveal of caroline’s room once we get a few more details completed.

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and remember, use code PAIGE for 15%off your entire purchase at Ever Thine Home. good through Easter!

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March 19, 2015 - 12:15 pm

️Marcy Norman Cox - just beautiful rooms.. Caroline’s chalk wall is amazing !! You and your girls have such creativity and talent ..

March 19, 2015 - 5:46 pm

Bev - Where did you get the round mirror?

March 20, 2015 - 9:38 am

Katherine @ Grass Stains - It all looks beautiful, Paige! And — no surprise — the girls did an UH-MEEEEE-ZING job on the chalkboard art. If you don’t mind sharing, where did you find the Glenda the Good Witch artwork? I love it!

March 23, 2015 - 9:38 am

Peggy - Oh dear sweet Paige! I LOVE your chalkboard walls!!! Ok I might be a bit biased because I love chalkboard walls. We might just have a room (or three, maybe four) with chalkboard walls. And the artwork on Caroline’s wall is INCREDIBLE!!! Oh my goodness gracious sakes alive! I have to second Bev’s question. Where did you find the round mirror? I’ve been looking for one for a few years but have been unsuccessful so far. xoxo p