"MTV Cribs": Baby Mathews Edition

I hope I'm not aging myself with my blog post title...do you know what MTV Cribs is? Hopefully you do. I couldn't pass up the play on words ;-) So this is a tour of our nursery including information about where we bought a lot of items or how I made them and some lessons learned in the process.  Enjoy!

Theme/Inspiration: When we found out we were having a boy I spent hours looking through bedding sets and was pretty sold on this one which I think has a great classic modern look to it.  I showed it to Husband and he said "It looks like it's for you, not for baby."  Shoot. Ok so while I was disappointed at first, I took his words to heart and felt like he was right.  He suggested something more fun and playful, perhaps leaning towards animals, and so eventually I found the one you see here, Sunny Safari by Carter's, and my sophisticated mature self was able to acquiesce that it was very cute and Husband loved it and so we had a winner. Turns out the animals have been SO fun to work with and I highly recommend having a 'theme' versus just a 'color scheme' as it makes everything easier.
Lesson Learned: It really is a blessing to have a husband (or wife, or best friend, etc.) who sees the world differently to offer a different perspective!
Color: Along the same lines as the above paragraph, I was leaning towards a light pale yellow and Husband again encouraged me to think "Fun" more than think "Mature" and thus the result is Sherwin Williams 6674 Jonquil. (I do work at Sherwin Williams btw so am rather biased towards their colors!) I was pretty nervous about it because it was such a strong color, so I had my samples up for over a week, in all different kinds of lighting, etc. and finally I felt that it would be ok. Turns out I am very happy with it-the first time we've ever had a yellow wall and it really is cheerful and lovely to walk into.
Lesson Learned; This is a freebie lesson because I work at a paint store: ALWAYS get a sample, ALWAYS look at it in different lights on different days. I've worked with color for seven years and I STILL get samples for my own home. Even if it just affirms your decision, it can never be a bad thing just to make sure.

Space: We live in a 2 bedroom 1 bath duplex and when we found out we were pregnant we thought we would need a bigger space to be able to have our room, a nursery, an office and a guest bed.  We spent a LONG time looking at other living options and couldn't find anything that fit our requirements so we decided to stay where we are and we just said "we'll make it work." I didn't have the highest hopes but seriously, some furniture rearranging and creative thinking and we have PLENTY of space.
Lesson Learned: You can always make it work. Sometimes expectations may need to be adjusted but God always provides exactly what we need.

Crib/Dresser: I was REALLY close to ordering a set online, when I happened to be walking through BabiesRUs and saw this crib set on sale.  It never even occurred to me to look at their furniture because the one or two I had glanced at were very expensive.  But it is BEAUTIFUL wood, very sturdy and the sale price was better than expected.  Setting up did however take a lot of help and I will tell you it took Karl the Canadian to carry it in the house, Uncle Josh to assemble the crib (AND help us move furniture AND paint) and Just Wes to assemble the dresser (he came after work in his dress clothes btw).
Lesson Learned: It took a village to help set up a nursery, I can only imagine how many people it will take to raise a child! We don't have family here and it is amazing the family of brothers and sisters God has provided with such loving servant's hearts. As hard as it was to ask for help (I felt really bad for all the manual labor favors) we were so blessed in the process and hopefully we can return the favor one day. And actually it made things fun to have friends involved...so it really does never hurt to ask!

Framed Artwork: Turns out the Carter's set had coordinating stickers I could order of the animals and this was SO great.  I am a scrapbooker and so I loved being able to make my own artwork to hang over the crib.  It was VERY easy and VERY fun for about $20.  Then it came time to frame them and I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown. 12x12 frames are very limited color and style selection, prices tend to be rather spendy, and I was super frustrated.  I spent maybe an hour and a half making the artwork? and probably almost 6 hours figuring out the frames (for real.) I went to multiple stores, spent a ton of time online, bought some frames and tried spray painting (which did not work), came really close to buying custom paint color at Sherwin, and was moments away from spending like $75 to buy some frames online when I realized that was ridiculous. So on the verge of tears I stopped and said "this is stupid." and I went to Michael's and bought the cheapest easiest 12x12 frames I could find (it cost me about $10 for all three of these after my coupon) and guess what? I love them. Figures.
Lesson Learned: Know your limits. Be smart enough to step back when you are getting frustrated and ask yourself what is really bothering you and what is really important.  And know that 12x12 artwork limits your framing options!

Rug: This is actually a carpet remnant! We got a smokin' deal on it and it is very soft and plush.  It's not necessarily the ideal color I had in mind but the other factors outweighed the color issue and really the brown looks fine.
Lesson Learned: Definitely check local carpet distributors for remnants next time you need a rug. No great profound wisdom here, just a good tip ;-)

Chair: After much debate on rocker vs recliner vs glider I found this beauty on Craigslist (brand new with tags!) for a great price.  It is actually a "rocker recliner" and it is *amazing*.  It's made by Lane and I highly commend it to you.
Lesson Learned: I did not think we could afford to buy my ideal chair and God provided it at half price. Amazing how He cares for us, even in the little details of life like a rocking chair.  He is truly able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we think or ask.

Prayer Books: I have started praying for our son and these books are SO helpful.  I have been struggling to know what to pray about as I haven't technically met him yet, so my prayers have been pretty general of praying for his health and God's hand on his life etc. but it is so great to be specific and to have scriptures to refer to. And it's a nice reason to sit in our comfy recliner and put my feet up for a few minutes :)
Lesson Learned: I think being "good" at prayer is a learned art and discipline. There are so many great resources available to us in our modern day I would encourage you to take advantage of.  And know it is never too early or too late to start praying for someone. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. -James 5:16

Mobile: Our bedding set does offer a mobile but it is $50 and I thought this was way too much for something I wasn't completely sold on having anyway. So with some inspiration from my great friend and new mommy Dr. Benjamin who had made her own mobile, I went to Michael's and bought craft sticks and little wooden animals and made this for $3. It's not exactly a piece of art but it works. It kind of reminded me of doing a science project and the balancing stuff was a little tricky but totally worth the money saved.
Lesson Learned: I am a recovering perfectionist and this mobile is definitely not perfect LOL.  But you know what? It accomplishes it's purpose and it was only $3 so I checked it off my list as "good" and "done". This was better than being "perfect".

Wall Art: I was pretty set on buying this wall decal and super excited about it, but when I went to order it realized that different sizes were different prices and what I wanted was going to cost like $175. Holy cow! So I started brain storming how I could make it myself, and I came across this awesome blog about ironing on wall art and ta da! A vision was born. This project cost me about $10 in fabric from Jo-Ann's and was actually easier than I expected (always a pleasant surprise).  
Lesson Learned: "Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw was from the hand of God." -Eccl. 2:24 
My soul very much enjoyed this labor...it was cool to force myself to think outside the box and plan everything from start to finish-the fabric, the layout, the font etc. and have such a nice finished product.  

Changing Table Basket: So I've been obsessed over what is supposed to be in the basket on the changing table.  I looked at a million baskets, not sure what would be the best height, size, color etc. And then I talked to some friends and read a ton of blogs on what exactly goes in this basket. (I'm not sure why this was such a big deal but I just wanted to have a bunch of good stuff in here!)  So if you're a first time mom and you're wondering this too...this is what I came up with as a result of my research:

Lotion, Cotton Balls, Qtips, Nail Clippers, Pacifier, a Toy, Mustela cleanser, Desitin, Wipes

Everything else I put in the top drawer of the dresser: diapers, thermometer, nasal aspirator, brush and comb, changing pad covers etc. I may end up moving some of this stuff around as I figure out what I use more often, but this is the starting line up.  Any other suggestions or advice? 
Lesson Learned: I understand why moms talk so much about mom issues. I do not have all the answers and in fact I feel I have very few answers when it comes to all this baby stuff! SO helpful to have advice from other moms. Not that I have to adhere to it, but great to have and then pick and choose what works.  And what on earth did our parents do without other parent's blogs on the internet??

Laundry Hamper: I was SOOO excited to find this little guy at Target.  It's not part of the Carter's set but I think it totally works and it's one of my favorite items in the nursery.  I was worried it would be too small, but my best friend is a professional mom (three going on four kids) and she said it's actually the perfect size for baby clothes so that the laundry doesn't overwhelm you.  This makes a lot of sense as I could see how one could probably fit close to 50 or 60 onesies in an adult laundry hamper (and trust me, we would put it off until it was full!) and who on earth would want to fold 57 onesies in an afternoon?
Lesson (in process of being) Learned: Go do laundry. Keep doing laundry. Then do more laundry. *sigh*

Scripture Artwork: My last arts and crafts project of the nursery.  Turns out painting is VERY tedious when you are trying to paint a million stripes and create a "handwritten font" look with a paintbrush.  I can't take credit for the design though. Found this great inspiration from Sweet Pea and Pumpkin blog and just used my own colors and Bible verse.  If you are interested in attempting this, I recommend NOT getting the "professional canvas" as it is very textured and makes painting stripes and letters VERY difficult.  Look for a smooth canvas texture. I DO recommend getting a very good fine tip professional paint brush.  This took me a *really* long time to paint fyi. Poor Husband was neglected for a good 10-12 hours I would say. BUT, I'm very happy with the results and hopefully it's something we'll have in our house, one place or another, for many years to come.  I narrowed down about a dozen favorite Bible verses and then read them to Husband and asked which one he wanted to be "the verse" for baby and when we came to this one he said "That's it!". And so it is.
Lesson Learned: We both actually remember plaques/artwork that hung in our rooms growing up with little sayings on them-which I think is pretty amazing.  Our pastor has spoken of a plaque that hung in his house growing up and how the words still resonate with him today.  We really do take in the pictures and words that are around us everyday. Scary when you think about the power of advertising but encouraging when you think about the power of Scripture. God's word does not return void and we pray that these truths will resonate with our son for a lifetime. Just for myself, seeing this every time I am in the nursery has already begun to implant these truths in my heart more than ever before. Such beautiful promises...

So that's our nursery! We started with the idea that we may not have space to have a nursery at all and to see how God has brought everything together and given us so many amazing little details has been awesome. He truly has given us Grace and Glory and we are so humbled to think that soon He is giving us Luke. For those of you looking for information or ideas, hope that you found this helpful.  For friends and family looking for the little details, I hope you feel like you are here with us! As always, thanks for reading :)

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