Monday, February 25, 2013

Rocking Chair

"Wagon Wheel" - Old Crow Medicine Show

Happy Monday, everyone.  

I've been looking forward to writing this post for months now.  
I knew when the time came to put words to the photos and memories, that I'd be well into my third trimester, finished the nursery and hopefully, feeling relaxed and as prepared as you can be for your first child.  I hit 36 weeks yesterday.  And this crazy feeling of ohmygosh-this-is-really-gonna-happen-soon hit me.  I think the emotions came sweeping in even more, because it's hitting Steve so hard.  When he sees baby girl moving all over my entire belly, when he rubs my belly and constantly keeps his hands on it while we're together, with wide eyes and complete awe...
It all sinks in on a completely different level than it has the past eight months.  
I go there - to that place where I'm in labor...we're headed to the hospital...we're meeting our daughter.
And then I think about the fact that she will be here in a month or less...
and my heart races so fast, I get dizzy from all the love swelling inside of me.

I get that same dizzy feeling whenever I rock in her rocking chair.

 The rocking chair was the first completed piece for the nursery.  
We began the project after Thanksgiving and by early December, it was finished.
It sat in baby girl's room for a good month before we tackled anything else.  I loved walking into her room and rocking back and forth, going to that happy place and imagining all that the room would become and all that would become of our life in the coming months.

Muffin loved the chair too. 
 I would often find her sleeping, curled up in one of my nani's old blankets that rested on it.

Two Christmases ago, my dad told me he wanted me to have it - the rocking chair that had been in our family since before I was born.   If there was any piece of furniture in the house I grew up in
 that meant something to me, it was that chair. 

That chair has so many stories...some heartfelt, and some very funny ones.
I remember my dad sitting in that chair almost every single night.  He'd put his headphones on - he always had really fancy headphones - the huge ones that cupped your ears just right.  He'd get lost in his music, close his eyes and sing at the top of his lungs...always in his own little world.
Even though I was young, I knew it was his escape.  I knew it was his "go to" when he wanted to forget and just be at peace.
And that chair means so much to me.  Because he wanted me to have it and because of the sentimental fact that I know how much peace it is going to now bring Steve and I every time we rock our daughter in it.

As for the funny stories it holds...
As I said, my dad would get completely lost in his music.  And you knew he couldn't hear a thing, let alone see anything, with his eyes wide shut.  My little (turd of a) brother (okay, okay, and sometimes I) would sneak behind the chair and tie my dad to it with this thin red and white rope we had from one of our old toys.  How my dad didn't notice Nicholas stringing it through one of his belt loops and tying it at least 8 times around one of the chair's spindles, I do not know.  But needless to say, it made for lots of laughter (on our part) once my dad came out of his music trance and realized his Levi's were now one with the chair.

I remember rocking in that chair when I was little.  Climbing into it and pushing off the floor with my feet...feeling the same peaceful feeling I knew my dad felt when he sat it in.

I found this photo last week while going through my old pictures - my mom and I - Christmas 1985 - in that same old rocking chair in front of our Christmas tree.
I'll be putting a photo of baby girl and I in the chair beside this photo and framing them after her arrival.

The beginning of a new chair and new memories...
At the end of November,
Steve took the chair down to the basement.  He used about six giant tarps to shield the basement from  all the dust and paint and joked that it looked like something from a horror movie.  He sanded for hours, prepping it for its first coat of primer.

Muffin left little paw prints in the dusty mess and scoped out the scene.

And a few days later, after picking the perfect color for the chair with Steve, I put on my mask and grabbed a few brushes and was ready to turn that gray into something bright and pretty.

It took me two days and about five and a half hours to complete the three coats of paint the chair needed.  It drank the paint right up.

This was after one and a half coats.

Red.  Happy, bright and cheery, red.
 "Red Wagon" to be exact.

I asked Jessica to join me for the rest of the ride.  I couldn't wait to paint together and share in the love that we'd put into the chair.  I didn't have a sliver of doubt that Jessica would put all her love into it.  The girl has such an imagination and eye for creating beautiful things.

Steve and I chose 7 tiny tubs of paint to compliment the red.  And the rest was up to Jessica and I.

We set ourselves up and got right to work.  The first day, spending about six hours together.

Jessica and I both had a vision for the chair.  We freak each other out with how much we sometimes think alike.  We pictured something a little MacKenzie Childs/a little Alice in Wonderland.

All we had to do was paint a few details on the chair, and we were already smiling and shrieking at our love for it. We get very excited about this kinda stuff.

You can just see Jessica's mind working here.

Jessica took the left side of the chair and I took the right.
(And then Jessica took the right whenever I messed up - which was only 4,391 times)

I think we laughed more than anything during the three days it took to complete the chair.
As I've said before, I can be a little careless - a little too quick when it comes to all things crafty.   

For instance - this would be Jessica's first spindle (before any cleaning up)

And this...
would be mine.  LOL.
Don't worry, we Jessica fixed it.

Twinks joined us on numerous occasions.

The end of our first day!

The second day, we began the top of the chair.  Jessica had the (very smart) idea to create stencils for the paisleys and heart.  What would I do without her?!  I woulda totally tried to draw them on.  And we all know what that would have turned out like.

Yep, it would have turned out like these super straight and even lines I created on some of the spindles.  I had come home from cleaning one night and thought I'd add some purple stripes.  About two hours (and some very fun choice words) later, I gave up and sent Jessica a string of hilarious text messages about my adventure.  I liked the way my weird white speckles turned out on the other spindles, but the yellow and purple - they looked like brokeass honeypots. 

They looked like I painted them in the dark with my feet.

We got some tape the next day and fixed them up.  The best we could.  And laughed and laughed at my steady hands.

On the last day, we designed the paisleys.

*I wrote baby girl's nickname (one of her many nicknames) in the solid yellow paisley.  Just photoshopped it in the upcoming photos.*

Jessica busted out these cute designs in no time.

And I...I messed up just once or twice, naming one of my paisleys "the eyeball flower of death" - the paisley below my fingers.

This is my favorite part of the chair (besides all the little white dots).  I painted LOVE in the middle and Jessica shaded the blue banner so beautifully. 

After two weeks and at least 24 hours of work love, the chair was ready!!

We set the timer on my camera and got ready for some fun pictures.  We were finished and it felt so good.  I could have cried.  And I did later.  But, right after, we just wanted to jump up and down and celebrate.

There's no way this chair would have come out nearly as pretty, had Jessica not been by my side.  
Working on it together makes this sweet rocking chair even more sentimental to me.

Jessica and I signed our initials on the back legs of the chair (even if Steve disapproved of our location choice) and smiled at our masterpiece.

And later, Mr. sprayed on a couple coats of gloss and upstairs, she went.

36 weeks...

Rocking our daughter in this chair for the first time is going to take my breath away. 

Rocking our daughter in this chair while I carry her inside of me
 is such a peaceful feeling.

Have a rockin' day, everyone. <3

I'll be back on Thursday or Friday with the nursery reveal!!

Peaceful Lovin',


Stephanie N. said...

So completely prescribe, Maria! Memories on top of memories... LOVE this! Can't wait for the nursery reveal! Soo soo exciting!

Girlfriends Art Clique said...

oh my GOSH! "I wish you were my mom!" hahaha! i seriously love it so much! next time i come over, i need to really stare at it, because when i glanced at it the other day i was so overloaded and didn't get to take in the chair. i LOVE LOVE LOVE it! you and jess did an awesome job!!! and i love that you have something so memorable for your little bean <3 my gosh, it's soooo surreal that the baby will be here in a matter of a few weeks! CRAZY GIRL! i love you so much, and hope you are feeling so great. xoxoxoxoxoxo!


Katharine (LauraKat81) said...

As usual your post made me cry! I LOVE the rocking chair. You did a beautiful job!

And can't believe you're already 36 weeks! It really is flying by!


JP said...

Love love LOVE!! It is beautiful.

Maria said...

SO so SOOOO awesome! Well done you two!

Jodi Stuber said...

You ladies did a totally stunning job!! I love the colors and all the amazing details you used.... your daughter is one lucky little lady :)

Steve said...

I think the gloss is the most amazing part... :)

Faith said...

Sean has a rocking chair that his grandma gave him and he completely is so sentimental about it and your post just made me realize why he loves ths old rocking chair :).

Now on to the amazingness that is that chairs new look! Wow! You all did an amazing job! I absolutely love it. Hmmm, I'm thinking I'll have to show Sean this post and convince him to give new life to his old rocking chair.

Rian Eidson said...

Love it!!!!

Rebecca said...

Chair looks great! LOVE IT!!!!!!!! Can't wait to see the rest of the nursery.

Heather Nelsen said...

I LOVE it!!!! It looks SO good, Maria!!! And love all of the memories it holds even more. I'm super impressed with your diligence in this project- I don't know if I could have done it! haha! Can't wait for you to have your side-by-side pic of you and Baby Girl in the rocking chair next to the pic of you and your mom. So sweet!!!

Have a great night, Maria! ..I'm off to finally start that dinner. ;)


Our Journey Through This Lovely Life said...

Hahah I love Steve's comment above! :) what a fun chair!! You guys are so close to meeting baby girl!! I can't wait to see her and her nursery!!! Have a lovely week big hugs and much love!

Kara and Mary said...

I loved being able to read your post while listening to what is Kara's all time favorite song. So I really loved your entry!! The chair is amazing. I am so excited for you!!!

Whitney Cypert said...

Oh my goodness! I don't even know where where to start. The rocking chair stories were so precious, I love that it is a family heirloom that means so much to you, those pieces are the best! Also, it turned out SO cute!! It looks professionally done, you guys are good! Baby Girl will love it! I can not wait for the nursery reveal!! I know it is going to be so adorable! I hope you had a great weekend and that your week is off to a wonderful start : ).

Anonymous said...

I'm in love.

That's it.

Special from shine to strip, paint to drip this will surely be loved. I do hope you put your pictures in a little frame of the beginning to the end for your little one. What lovely memories you've already begun.

I can't wait for the nursery reveal!! If it's anything like this chair, I want to be 5 again.

KC @ genxfinance said...

Good job with the chair. It's pretty colorful and comfy...

Brittany said...

Sitting here crying like!! Maria, the rocking chair turned out SO beautiful!!! I absolutely love guys couldn't have done a better job. So will have so many wonderful stories to tell Baby Girl while you rock her. The "red wagon" color is perfect and I love the paisley design on top...just precious! I can't wait to see it in the nursery...and even more so see you rocking your sweet daughter in it! :)

Hope y'all had a great weekend, beautiful lady!!

Heather said...

Oh my goodness - it's perfect! It turned out so beautiful. Love the story behind it and all the stories and memories it will create. XOXO!

Jess @ said...

I love it! You ladies did an awesome job!

Olivia {i am still learning} said...


I loveeeeeeeee it. Aw, you are going to have a million and one memories rocking your sweet girl to sleep in that chair. Times when you're going to soak it up and tell yourself she'll only be little once and you're going to try to memorize her sleeping face as you rock.

I'm a bit ashamed to admit this, but when I was first pregnant with Jack (I was more young and selfish) my Mother's big gift to me was a rocking chair. I thought it was silly when I needed everything else under the sun and I never even asked for a chair.

And I can't tell you how many times I've sat in that chair and I recall how wrong I was, and how selfish not to see what she saw.

I wish I could go back and slap my ungrateful, younger, self.

I just rocked Jude to sleep about 10 minutes ago in that chair...

And I think I may have to go do it again. LOL

mail4rosey said...

Best post ever, this was fun, touching, sweet, memorable, lol, and I LOVE the chair!!

Alex[andra] said...

The chair is gorgeous!! It's so nice that you have something so meaningful in your home. I had a rocking chair when I was a child. I loved that chair! It had a button on the bottom that would play music and sooth me to sleep. Thanks for bringing back those memories and for sharing yours. :)


Janet said...

Love...LOve...LOVe...LOVE the chair! Adam's mother gave us a family rocking chair that belonged to his great grandfather and I can't wait to rock a wee one in it!

Lynn Huntley said...

What a lovely post! Your rocking chair looks great!
Stopping by from GFC Hop:) Lynn H @ Turnips 2 Tangerines~

I'll Love You Forever said...

How sweet is this!! You guys did an amazing job. I love all the pictures. My favorite is the one at the end with you sitting in it. It will be so awesome to have a side by side pic of her in your belly and then you holding her in the rocking chair. Love the red. So glad things are coming along. Can't wait to see pictures of this beautiful angel. Will you message me? I have a gift to send you!

Ashley said...

Oh my goodness! That is absolutely beautiful! You all did such a great job... I am soo impressed! I bet you just can not wait till you are rocking her to sleep in that. What a wonderful family heirloom with such great stories. How funny that you used to tie up your dad. I can picture my kids doing that to me! :)

Tracy said...

That is so great! I love all the color!

Kathy Radigan said...

It came out so great!!!! I use to love to rock my babies in the rocking chair before they were born! Planning the nursery was always one of my favorite things to do. What a blessing. I'm so excited for you and so glad you are having fun preparing for your little girl!!! Much love to you!!

Mrs. E said...

I'm so impressed! This chair is beautiful, and all the more so because of how meaningful it is... Thank you for all your messages and emails. I live you and Steve (and Baby Girl!) so much. Thank you for thinking of us always xoxo

Jonny and Brittany said...

Okay so for some reason you were not on my blog list along with a few other fellow blog friends! I finally added you on there which I am so excited to see all your updates! LOVE your chair and am SO SO excited to meet the new little addition! :)

Jazmin @ My Little Memory Jar said...

Oh what a treasure!

Rachel Marie said...

Oh Maria, your artwork resembles mine so much :) We should totally play daw something together sometime ;) It would be epic :) I adore the rocking chair!!!! It is so beautiful. You ladies did a FANTASTIC job. All the hard work and love put into that chair for the little princess. She will probably love to see these pictures when she's older. Hope you're doing good. It's hard to believe you're ALMOST there. I cannot wait. I hope you make a little bit of time to pop on and post a blog and lots and lots of pictures of baby girl when she arrives.

Katie said...

Mama E! I went to read your blog today and it was marked private. :( will you be going public again?

Katie said...

What a wonderful post....I love the chair, and the history that comes with it!

Judy Haughton-James said...

Wow! That is one beautiful and very special rocking chair Maria! You all did such a wonderful job. It won't be long before you are sitting in that chair with your adorable little baby girl. I am so happy for you. It is so good to see another of your very interesting posts after a difficult day out. Keep getting prepared Maria! We are all waiting for Beano!:) Lots of Love, Friendship and Best Wishes to you, Steve and Beano.

Noel Marie said...

Oh my gosh that is soooooo so awesome! First of all, yay 36're in the safe zone, congrats!! And second of all, wow, you guys did an awesome job reviving such a memorable piece!! I love having my great grandmothers old desk, we just had it refinished this year and it looks better than I've ever seen it!

Rebecca said...

That chair looks so good! Just found your cute blog through the blog hop. I'm a new follower. Hope you'll stop by sometime!


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