The Power of the V-Neck

One of the greatest things about my husband is his wit. He says things without missing a beat. I admire this skill because half the time I think of clever things hours after they are relevant to the conversation. So I am usually left in awe in the wake of his commentary.

We recently went shopping at Old Navy to change up Tom’s normal wardrobe of t-shirts and gym shorts. I just want to make it clear this was his choice not mine. And this gem of a conversation occurred as we went through every V-neck display. (He even mistakenly went through the boys section before he realized the sizes.)

All Tom- “I love v-necks. I can wear a v-neck to church or to bed. V-necks are the gauchos for men. A step in the right direction for clothing gender equality.”

Tom proceeded to buy at least 5 different v-necks. I lost count as I carried them all.

I love his v-neck obsession!

I am always looking for new ways to store things such as Tom’s v-necks, so I had pinned these pictures ages ago hoping Tom would be able to re-create something like it.

DIY Ikea Shelves - BedDIY bed with storage!

And sure enough, he did! Thanks to Tom’s mad carpentry skills, we are no longer sleeping on the floor. Grown ups!

He built the two box units for the sides out of plywood.


Then he built the middle part to brace the bed.

Only the outside boxes needed to be stained.


We made it so we can still slide crates underneath the bed for even more storage.


We bought these simple cloth baskets at Walmart to put in the side cubby holes.

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We still need to figure out what to do to close off the hole in the front because we were going to put a bench there, but that doesn’t leave enough room for us to walk around the room. So we are still thinking about that, but it is not a huge priority right now.

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It was an easy design since you just make the boxes with two long pieces for the length of the bed and 5 short pieces for the height you want and to sanction off the cubbies. You can make more cubbyholes  by just putting in more short pieces. Also when you are determining the height make sure you take into account how big the baskets are and how big your box springs and mattress are. We used some nicer plywood for these. This is where most of the cost went.

Depending on the size of your bed you may need to build the middle part like we did to make sure your bed doesn’t fall in the middle. Tom just used 2X4s to build the brace as sturdy as possible. This doesn’t need to look fancy since it is never seen.

We have a nail gun which made this job much easier. I am not sure I would want to attempt this with basic nails and hammers.

Now we just need to work on the headboard to finish the room off.

I love our bed!

I hope you all had a great start to the week!

The Vacation Doesn’t End

Time has definitely settled and slowed down a bit. I started my new job a week ago, so it is safe to say now Tom and I are living a regular life and are starting to create some routines. I tell ya, getting up at 5 is not fun, but having someone keeping you accountable to that makes it a little easier.

The house is still silly in some areas with having to go home for the Baumgardner wedding last week, starting a new job, just building some furniture and then debating what needs to be done before Tom has surgery this week. Let’s just say our spare bedroom is becoming that closet that you are afraid to open because of what may fall out.

At the end of the day though, I get to come home to my family.

But, there is still this inkling that there is a joke coming up and this honeymoon period is about to end. Haha Whiteners-fun time is over. After living in a long distance relationship for the better part of 6 years, it is proving to be a hard habit to shake.

About once a day, Tom and I share comments of fleeting thoughts we had thinking we only had a weekend.

  • Do you want to stay up all night since you are supposed to head back to Iowa tomorrow…ohhhh wait!
  • We need to get one last family walk in before you drive!
  • Let’s just keep eating out because there isn’t any food and I don’t want to waste our time together cooking and cleaning the kitchen.
  • I don’t want to see anyone else but you this weekend. There isn’t anything in this city that demands our time. What, we don’t need to live holed up in our apartment all weekend?
  • I still have all my make-up and face wash products in a traveling case…
  • Why are you in the other room? Come sit next to me, every minute, every second…
  • Watch your TV on your own time! We need to get through “That 70s Show!”
  • and the list goes on…

Having jobs to go to every day is helping us settle in a little more, so hopefully we will feel more permanent the more time that passes. And we can explore the city a little bit too. I am really looking forward to the Farmer’s Market and Jazz on the Lawn!

Either way, I am loving being able to have a face to face conversation every day and not doing that dreaded drive away from the person you love. Seriously the worst part of a long distance relationship is the travel back after a glorious weekend together.

Sayonara depressing sappy love song drive mix! (Ok maybe I will still listen to that…)

Now I just need to tame the beast…

This past weekend Tom and I made most of our bedroom furniture. I will be honest, I did not do much. I stained the bed and was the assistant who held the wood when a clamp would not suffice. Tom was the mastermind behind these. But we still spent most of the weekend in our carport with saw dust flying everywhere.

We only have pictures of the bedside tables right now. We need to do some adjustments to the bed before I will post about it.

Tom did a fantastic job designing these tables. He did them from scratch, drawers and all. Super impressed! It is nice having a partner who can do some pretty wicked woodwork and spend all weekend manufacturing these things for you!

And we even managed to save the wood that went through the downpour we got caught in on the way home.

They look great in our bedroom!

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And here is the final product! Once we have the bed set up fully, I will post what they look like in the room.


Say What?

Tonight my craft entry is dedicated to Tom’s craftiness. He wanted to share a past project we did. In all fairness though, my family provided the dresser, and that was really all my input. Well, that and picking out the tile. Tom did all the work and deserves all the credit!

My parents are getting ready to downsize, so they are getting rid of a lot of things, one being this old dresser. As you can see, it needed some major upgrades.

We wanted to make it into a kitchen island. I will never forget the argument that ensued before we started this project. Tom and I had the hardest time communicating with each other what we envisioned for this island. We both lost patience with each other and were too stubborn to actually hear what the other was saying. That was the longest drive from Jeff City to Ames. (It is really difficult to fight while you have a 5 hour drive ahead of you. You can’t really escape it.)

Needless to say, we still have issues from time to time communicating with each other. And only being able to talk in brief spurts does not help. Tom has gotten even shorter with his patience after being trained to give information as quickly as possible, and because I don’t get much time it only makes sense for me to want to explain everything from every which way and being extremely long-winded. It’s an awful combination. So naturally, we get into tiffs every now and then trying to understand each other. Fortunately, we are mature enough now to call each other out and know when we need to step back for a second. And most of the time, we realize that we are more frustrated with the situation than we are with each other. But you take it out on the people you love most, right? Even though we have spent a majority of our relationship apart, we still have to find that balance with communication, and it needs tweaking every now and then.

And trying to figure it out when the blasted phone hangs up on us every few minutes is lame. Although, to be honest, that may soften us up a bit and make us forget what we are arguing about or realize that it was pretty dumb to be arguing over the Sprint account password. We become more frustrated with the phones than with each other, and then we get all mushy with the “I’m sorry” goodness. Delightful.

Then there are the small things about instant communication that I miss. I miss being able to tell Tom anything whenever. You know when you do something really embarrassing, and you want to tell someone how ridiculous you were? Tom is that person I can tell, and he will laugh at me, but he wouldn’t think anything less of me. (He does continue to razz me about things though.) Like talking about having a dog wedding or how I recently have forgotten to zip up my pants on many occasions. (FYI, I would appreciate you all not staring at my crotch. I already feel like a little kid forgetting so many times.) Today we had a conversation about bodily functions that 5 years ago would have disgusted Tom to pieces. Now, it is just what it is. When I talk to Tom, it’s like I open my mouth and all my insides just spill out. It’s just nice to have someone to just be completely open with without holding back because of embarrassment. Now Grace gets the brunt of my embarrassing moments, and she handles it pretty well. She never laughs at me, which I can’t say about my husband. Hmmmm, maybe I need to rethink this…

Besides sharing these things with my dog, I have resorted to still sending Tom texts with my ridiculousness. He is not able to see any texts right now, so it is going to be a real fun when he gets a few dozen of them by the time he comes home.

When you get right down to it with relationships, you have to learn to how to communicate. We have had to work really hard with this, especially with the changing dynamics of our relationship due to distance/circumstances. We are constantly trying to figure out each other and make the most of the situation. I think the fact that we are really open with each other helps us grow stronger together. We definitely don’t always agree, but we somehow manage to make it work. And part of that is understanding the art of compromise. Like this dresser for example. We both wanted it to look a certain way. At first we had a lot of trouble communicating what we wanted, but eventually we found ways to show our intentions and designs. From this, we had to compromise and meet in the middle with our ideas and blend them together.

I think the result is pretty awesome! Tom did a great job putting it together!

Now the dresser that my brother and I used as target practice, is a beautiful island that we use everyday.