Home Remodel stage 3: Expansion

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Building a house is seriously hard work. I mean I’m not actually building the house, but it sounds like hard work.

I’m sitting peacefully (ha) beneath the house and my only job is to keep my daughter alive. So nothing has changed really. Except that now I have to keep her happy while it sounds like there is a war going on above us. It’s making nap time really interesting.

Although as I write this she is amazingly fast asleep and I’m sort of in disbelief. But I’m just going to quietly count my blessings and hope it’s a long nap so I can regain some semblance of sanity.

I never realized how stressful this whole process would be on me. I mean I’m not actually doing any building but it’s still pretty stressful. I guess living in a construction zone can do that to you.

Chris’ dad got here on Saturday morning, bright and early and they started working right away. Then unfortunately on Sunday the ceiling was leaking (I say ceiling because there is obviously no roof) so they had to work to get things finished faster to prevent a Noah’s ark sort of situation.

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But things appear to be coming along quite nicely. I have a doorway up, which is pretty thrilling. Makes the whole thing seem real. I stood up there and squinted my eyes to pretend that it was finished and I was looking out my open door. And they’re done with the plumbing so I can see where my bathrooms will be.

There’s even a stack of walls in the back yard that I assume will go up as soon as they put the floors down.

It’s pretty exciting stuff people!

[Read more…]

Ripping off the Roof in time for the Rain

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Early this morning while most of you were still nestled warm in your beds and a few of you early birds had begun to wipe the sleep from your eyes, Chris felt raindrops come in from the window.

He shot upright in bed, waking me up, and desperately tried to make sense of his apparent distress at the sprinkles of water.

“Rain,” He mumbled almost incoherently.

“Just close the window,” I replied, annoyed at having to wake up for something so silly.

But then it clicked. The reason that the light sprinkles of rain, which signaled a possible downpour, were a cause of distress: we didn’t have a roof.

A few days ago the stars aligned and Chris was able to start working on our house. And by that I mean, ripping off the current roof so that by the time his dad gets here, everything will be ready to start the real building. One of Chris’ friend’s was more than happy to help and the process went surprisingly fast. Evelyn and I watched from a sand pile in the backyard.

The forecast promised clear blue skies but Chris pulled the tarp out of the garage just in case. He forgot one important thing, the forecast is rarely right.

As Chris grabbed his shoes and rushed out of the room, as an after thought I called after him, “Do you need help?”

It sounded like he was already out the door as he answered me, “Yes.”

Still in my pajamas I slipped on my rain boots for their protection and ease of putting on more so than their comfort. The night was still fairly warm but the breeze was cool and droplets of rain slowly added to the chill.

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Disappointment in The Notebook

[So after writing this, I realize that the majority of it seems to really bash on The Notebook. But it gets better at the end. So if you’re gonna read this you have to promise me to read all the way to the bottom. Promise? Pinky promise? Okay, go ahead..]

The Notebook came out in 2004 and I watched it for the first time last Saturday. I think when it first came out and I was an impressionable 13 year old, my mom wouldn’t let me watch it, most likely because of a sex scene. But here I am, 10 years later and I still feel terribly awkward during sex scenes in movies (as I’ll explain further, below).

These past ten years I have heard from basically everyone in the world about how it’s the most romantic best movie EVER! And “Seriously…you haven’t seen it?! You have to see it RIGHT NOW!” Even from my husband…that’s when you know you’ve gotta watch it.

To say that my expectations were high would be putting it lightly. But I was also wary, because I have seen other Nicholas Spark’s books turned into movies and they always left me crying. And I kinda hate crying. Thankfully (and surprisingly) The Notebook differed on that account. But I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s start from the opening credits.

**Warning! This post contains spoilers! If you are one of the few (like I was) who hasn’t seen The Notebook yet, you may not want to read any further. Or let my opinions taint the movie for you…**

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When we first meet the young Noah and Allie, they are at a carnival/county fair, not together. A promising start and opportunity for a meet-cute. Only, it wasn’t cute…it was a little creepy.

Allie politely declines Noah’s offer to dance (anyone hear music?) because hello, she has a gaggle of guys following her around so no judging from me, and then stalker Noah, complete with a crazy stare, jumps onto the moving ferris wheel to get her attention!

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I’m sorry but I have been to county fairs similar to that one and if some guy, no matter his cuteness level, pulled that kind of stunt with me, I would run screaming in the other direction (once safely on the ground). Then, as if that weren’t enough, he dangles himself from the top of said ferris wheel, threatening suicide or extreme bodily harm if she doesn’t go out with him. Why would some guy, on first seeing a girl, not even really meeting her, pull such an elaborate stunt? Ryan Gosling or not, I’d decline the offer.

The next day Noah spots Allie walking down the street and once again pulls a creepy stalker move, asking when their threatened date will take place. He claims he has been drawn to her and needs to be with her. He even goes so far as to promise to change and be whatever she wants him to be. I got a serious case of stranger danger just watching it.

Keep in mind that I’ve never read the book so I’m not sure if and how the story differs there.

So they end up on that date and a couple romantic and daredevil moves (lying and dancing in the middle of the road) win Allie over. I don’t blame her. By this point he’s pretty cute and I’d probably dance with Ryan Gosling in the middle of the road too.

Let’s skip ahead to the iconic beach/bird scene. Since I’ve seen the internet once or twice, I have seen my share of memes and gifs and quote-on-pictures from this scene. This is where those high expectations were in full swing. I was expecting cute and romantic. But the only word that came to my mind was weird. [Read more…]

Arizona Adventures

Boy oh boy do I love me some alliteration. I guess that’s pretty much a given…Make Something Monday, Writing Prompt Wednesday…. Speaking of which, today is supposed to be Make Something Monday, it being Monday and all, but Evelyn and I took a last minute trip to Arizona to enjoy the last little bit of summer and I haven’t made anything except waves in the pool. (See what I did there?)

So today you’re going to get my travel diaries and I call them

Arizona Adventures

8.21.2014

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Last Thursday afternoon, Evelyn and I hopped on a plane at the Provo airport and hightailed it to Mesa, Arizona. That hour and a half long journey taught me that gone are the days of a relaxing flight where I can read a book, take a nap, or stare off into nothingness wondering when the plane is going to land. Now my hour is spent wrangling a baby who desperately wants to be crawling down the aisle of the plane to meet some new friends. Only she can’t. Because the flight attendants aren’t down with that, yo.

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That evening we went to dinner at the Gecko Grill and decided to bypass the wait and eat on the patio. That turned out to be the best option because Evelyn hates sitting in a high chair, so I let her crawl around on the ground and eat rocks. Most nutritious dinner ever.

8.22.2014

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A Book Nook

I have wanted a library in my house, pretty much since I saw Beauty and the Beast. I just love how incredible it feels to walk into a room full of books and hunger to devour each one. Evelyn and I went on a walk to our local library the other day and I just get giddy walking inside. It has that musty book smell that is somehow so euphoric and there is just shelf after shelf of possibilities.

I love to walk down each aisle and take my time scanning each book. Being the (basically teenage) girl that I am, I am drawn to bright colored covers with funky fonts. Whoever said not to judge a book by it’s cover has never had the opportunity to go to the library and find something to read with anything to go on. So yes, I will choose that book whose title is in curly handwriting and is bright yellow with a fun drawing on the front. It’s Summer and I want an easy-read, pool book.

But I digress. I’m pretty sure once our house is finished I may actually get my library! It won’t to be up to the Beauty and the Beast par but hopefully by our final house (you know the one we live in till we die) I’ll get to work my way up to an amazing library full of books and I’ll be so old by that point that I’ll just lie on the chaise lounge and fall asleep and dream of what might be between the covers.

I loved this Huffington Post article about Book Shelfies (a selfie with your bookshelf? yeah that’s stupid) on deciding how you would organize your books.

By order of publication

Personal significance

Alphabetically

By height

Stacked

By color

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Home Remodel Stage 2: Part 2

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As you may remember from part 1, Chris decided to work on the yard so we could enjoy it during the warm months, even if the house wasn’t done yet. I am so glad that he did because with all these set backs on getting our building permits I’m at least happy that we have a gorgeous back yard to enjoy the summer in. And Evelyn is pretty happy about it too.

Everything you see below is all thanks to Chris. He built the planter and planted the flowers and trees. He totally built the pathway and fire pit and got the bench for free. He turned a barstool into a tree swing. He also bought ducks while I was out of town, built their cute little duck house and made their pond. I’m less than thrilled about that last bit.

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Home Remodel: City Setbacks

So the plan was that when I went to Georgia, Christopher’s dad would come and help him build the house so it would be mostly done by the time I got back. That way we wouldn’t have to find somewhere to stay and I wouldn’t be bugging Christopher to spend time with me because I was lonely while he was doing something more important….like building our house. (And the sad part is I would do that.)

So we (read Chris and his dad) worked really hard to get all the plans ready to turn into the city so we could get our building permits. We turned them in, in what would have been plenty of time and then we got a call.

Apparently our existing bunker home is slightly too close to the property line. Like barely.

(Well good thing it was built on wheels and we can just push it over. ‘Really you built it on wheels, well that was convenient. ‘No I didn’t build it on wheels I’d have to tear it down and rebuild it!’ Name that Gilmore Girl reference)

So obviously there is NOTHING that we can do about that but protocol is protocol so we have to meet with some committee so they can approve that our house is where it is…

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Home Remodel Stage 2: Flourish

So one might think that when renovating a home, the yard comes dead last in terms of importance. Not so in our case.

You may remember from my first home remodel post that Flourish (landscaping) was supposed to be stage four. The original plan was to wait until the house was finished before we started landscaping but since the weather has been a tad warmer and the house won’t be done until the end of summer, we decided to do the yard now so we can enjoy it during the warm months.

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Turns out my husband is a landscaping genius. I look at our backyard and see a huge grassy area with no idea where to start. He looks back there and sees all kinds of potential. So a few weekends ago he measured everything and then started mapping out what the backyard will look like.

Basic idea is to have a deck attached to the house and then a big open grassy area up to the trees. Behind the trees will be a fire pit and a bunch of planters and then to the other side we’ll put in a vegetable garden. There will be a brick path that goes along side where the existing garage is (that will end up just being a concrete pad to park an unused car, or a boat if we had one.) and winds through the yard to the fire pit. And if all goes as planned will do an in ground trampoline in between the vegetable garden and the concrete pad.

So to start off we figured out where we wanted the path to go and Chris started digging out the fire pit.

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^^The tire represents the firepit

Chris picked up some brick for free from some lady who was moving but we still need more to finish the whole pathway. We have about a third of what we need.

This is how far Chris got in one day:

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Good thing for good friends

Every so often I need a bit of nostalgia and I head for a visit with my good friends. We hang out a lot, I feel like I know everything about them. There are times when due to our busy schedules, we don’t get to spend as much time together as we would like. But the best thing about our relationship is that it doesn’t matter how much time we spend apart. When we see each other it’s like we pick up right where we left off. It doesn’t matter how much has changed in our lives since the last we’ve visited, as far as we’re concerned, we’re in exactly the same place we were before. There is something comforting about being together. It reminds me of all the good times we’ve had and the different stages of life we’ve both been at.

Whenever we spend time together it goes the same way, it’s almost predictable some might say. We’re always at my house. At first it was my parents house, when we first met, then my dorm and all the various apartments I’ve lived in and finally, you get to see me as a homeowner! We’ve grown up together you and I. And sometimes we go to your house. I’ve visited you at work and school, you’ve taken me out to your favorite places to eat and heck, I’ve even been to your parent’s home.

But we don’t hang out just the two of us. I appreciate how you’ve introduced me to all your friends and co-workers. Some of them are quirky, well all of them are quirky but that’s what we love about them, you and I. I’ve met all your boyfriends, a few of which I’ve liked, but we both have always known who you would end up with. I watched the whole process of you opening your own business and I’ve always been impressed at your work ethic and your ability to get through anything that has come your way.

I’ve been with you for all your daughter’s big moments too. When she went to that big fancy school, got so smart and graduated college. I cried with you during her valedictorian address and I was with you when we took one last run through her high school hallways. I helped you move her into college and move the old dorm mattress in and out and in and out. I commiserated with you on each of her break ups and sometimes, I too worried she was with the wrong guy. Like the one who kept her out all night, or the other one that helped her steal a yacht. I jumped up and down with you when she landed that big internship and was devastated when she dropped out of school. We’ve been through all of it together, you and I.

I’ve been to your town and walked the windy streets. I’ve been to the crazy events and laughed at the kooky people. I’ve walked with you in the square on a bright summer day. I’ve stood with you in my pajamas in the evening of the first snow. I’ve smelled the crisp, fall Connecticut air and enjoyed the colors that come with it. I love your town, I love your friends and I love everything that comes with being in your life. [Read more…]

Nursery for multiple children

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We finally finished Evelyn’s room and I have to say, I am loving that this room is functional now. It makes the house seem so much bigger. The room is a bit eclectic in terms of color scheme. But it works for her temporary nursery until we finish upstairs. Then I’ll decorate it in a put together, planned sort of fashion, but for now this works.

It’s a small room but it’s a perfect setup for anyone who needs a nursery for children of multiple ages. For now it will work as a guest room with a craft closet.

Take a look at the before and afters:

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^^here the carpet has been replaced but we haven’t finished the walls yet

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