Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A day without an iPhone

Today has felt a lot like a Monday even though it is the middle of the week. It's been chaotic, frustrating, and terribly, terribly scheduled. This isn't out of the norm all that much, our lives are busy, and a lot of days things are scheduled and fast paced. However, today was a little tougher than most because I faced it without my iPhone.

I've lost my own home. (Gasp!) And I can't find it. I've torn up beds, emptied trash cans, looked through drawers, looked under couches, in couches, around couches...nothing. It's beyond frustrating. I don't lose things. I might misplace my keys occasionally or hide something in a special spot that takes me awhile to recall, but flat out lose something, I think not. I've thought and thought about each of my steps last night and nowhere in my memory is my iPhone.

I never realized that I had become one of 'those' people until today. I've become the technology dependent, can't leave home without being connected, too busy to slow down woman. I hate that.

I'm a country girl...I like porches and sunsets and cows...not gigabytes and connection speeds. What happened?

It's hard to look at yourself some days and see how you can unintentionally slip into an addiction that is terribly toxic to you.

I drug myself from the house this morning knowing that I would have to face the day without my connection to the world. How would I survive? What if Josh texts me and needs me? What if I go to lunch and an important work email comes in that I need to respond to? What if one of my Facebook friends announces something big and I am miss it? Big issues, right? Wrong.

What will actually happen...absolutely NOTHING. The world will keep spinning, everyone will make it through the day, and life will go on. Things might not be as convenient, but it's not life or death. It's a harsh reality that I needed to face.

On the way home today I noticed the most amazing section of yellow daisies along the highway. It's the first time I have really seen them because today I lifted my head up and looked around at my daily check-in spot...the trusty traffic light I can always count that I will have to sit at for a few minutes midway through my commute. This is where I glance at emails or text someone back. I won't drive and text, but this is the stopping point where I have a minute to respond if I'm needed.

Who knew there were thousands and thousands of gorgeous flowers right there just a few feet outside my window? I didn't. Not until today when I had to stop and slow down. God was teaching me, I know it. He wants me to take some breaths and see the amazing kingdom He has created and stop thinking I can get it all done on my own, in my time, and on my terms. He knew I needed a refresher and a perspective change even when I didn't realize it.

So, now what? I'll pray. Take the breaths slowly in and out and look again. It won't be the end of the world if it is gone forever. It is however the beginning of realizing how codependent I have unintentionally become to something. Obviously, I needed this day.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A year ago (Part II)

A year ago today we were here...

It was a big day. We were very busy doing this...

And a lot of this...

With all of these really wonderful people surrounding us...

It was a magical night...complete with a beach bonfire...

and LOTS of dancing...

Truly perfect.
Happy Anniversary, my amazing husband. It's been the best year of my life. I look forward to the next 50!

Friday, April 23, 2010

A year ago...

A year ago today we were in Isla Navidad, Mexico preparing for our wedding. Our guests would be arriving today, all 36 of them. We had spent the past few days lying in the sun, drinking margaritas and eating fresh guacamole, napping, and oh yeah...preparing for the big day.

Tough day of wedding planning for Josh.

It was heaven, pure bliss.

Our private hotel for the week...The Meson Dona Paz in Isla Navidad

The decision of the day...which lounge chair to spend the afternoon on. Hmmm? Tough one.

Our amazing family and friends sacrificed for us, leaving babies and little ones at home, taking time off from work and life, and traveled hundreds of miles to spend the weekend with us. We were and are so blessed.

Reflecting today makes me want to go that weekend, to that day, to that time with Josh.

After an evening out together before everyone arrives.

So, indulge me for a day or two while we go back (in mind and spirit) to our Mexico wedding.

Happy Anniversary Weekend to us! Of course I wouldn't settle for just one day...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Real progress

The laundry room remake is moving along! All of a sudden everything is beginning to take shape...finally.

To update you, I chose Silvermist by Sherwin Williams as the paint color for the walls. I love the way it looks. It's a soft blue with a bit of a grey undertone to it. I got 3/4 of the walls painted when the carpenters moved in, literally. It's interesting to wake up in the morning to have all sorts of men in your home. It's not nearly as juicy as it sounds, ladies.

You'll be able to tell where these short, drumstick legs were able to reach (even on a ladder) and where they could not. The pictures below do not show the color very well. Using the flash on the camera the blue looks a lot brighter. It's much more calming in person.

I would post photographs from the painting progress, but I'll save your eyes from the capri yoga pants with socks and slippers look. It's hot, just trust me.

The cabinet guys started last Friday. They've worked a total of 6 days and almost have it all completed. I must say, this is a great group of guys and they have done an exceptional job...far exceeding my expectations. If you ever need new cabinets, let me know...I've got the hookup.

Here's the progress so far...remember everything is unpainted right now and none of the doors or drawer fronts have been installed. Those should all be here in the next week or so.

The center island...holding 4 laundry hampers.
It's on casters so that I can roll it around!

On the wall where you walk in we have our lovely scratch-and-dent washer and dryer.
We've definitely gotten our money's worth out of these suckers.
Hopefully we'll be upgrading soon...
there's been an ink incident that may cause us to do this sooner rather than later.

Standing in front of the washer, looking at the opposite wall,
are the new cabinets that will soon feature a gift wrapping station.

Josh thinks it is a complete waste of space (and it probably is), but it is something that I have always wanted (geeky, I know). Remember...none of the cabinet doors have been installed.

Can you see where the old cabinets were? Yeah, the lime green and Silvermist give the room a really interesting look right now.

Standing in the same position, looking over the island...
you'll see the middle section of the cabinets.
There are 2 trash bins built in and 2 canisters built in for dog food.

You don't understand how critical this is with Katie...she's able to open doors, open ice chests, open trash cans, open combo locks...ok, not really, but close.

Check out the paint job in the upper left corner of this!
Wish you couldn't see that so clearly.

This big cabinet will have cabinet door fronts and 2 hanging bars on the lower and upper sections of the left-hand side. This is for all of the delicate things that need to be dried. Finally, we won't have things hanging in our bathroom, on the door frames, and occasionally on the mantle.

Don't judge.

The right-hand side of the tall cabinet will also have a cabinet door and will house brooms, mops, vacuums and other devices that I hate using.

We are working on countertops as we speak...trying to decide what kind of granite we want to have installed. I'm trying to choose between Uba Tuba, Black Pearl, and Absolute Black. Or, as Josh, black, and black. Any suggestions?

The ceiling and floor decisions are still up the air. More on that to come.

Right now we are heading into the weekend with some obvious painting to do, lots of dust and wood scraps all over our home, and loads and loads of backed up laundry. Fun times but totally worth it in the end.

Happy Friday!

Monday, April 12, 2010

It's raining, it's pouring!?!?

Rain, rain, go away...come again another day, preferably when my roof is fixed.

We found a leak in our roof last week. Oh what fun, especially in a new (to us) home! I spent this morning watching guys climb the roof to check out where the water is coming in, where it is running out, and what to do about it. A perfect way to start a Monday...sense the sarcasm?!

Luckily, it's an easy fix. Thank you, Lord!

With cabinet guys being at the house (an update on that progress is soon to come), guys helping Josh finish the barn, A/C guys readying the system for the blazing hot summer, and now roofing guys climbing around the top of the house like monkeys, there's an overload of testosterone and men with power tools.

Therefore, after hearing the weather forecast for the week, crossing my fingers, and praying that the roof can get fixed before the storms arrive...I had to find some girly ways to handle the rain. Yeah, the guys can laugh at me for this, but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.

And, you mine as well look cute while doing it.

I found a few girly ways to prep for the rain...

Target Zulima Bias Plaid Boots $24.99

J.Crew Rain Boots $65.00

Target Mod Dot Boots $24.99

A little Burberry goodness - The mid length trench from Saks.
Way too much $ for a rain coat.
(A girl can dream, right?)

Of course, we all know what is going to happen with the rain predictions'll be sunny and gorgeous for the rest of the week!

Happy Monday, girls!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Neighborly love

We really love our new place. It's quiet, beautiful, and out of the city lights and fast pace. With seven acres, a fence, and a gate, it makes it difficult to meet your neighbors and really get to know those living around you. Each house is far enough apart that it would take a lot of effort (and a little trespassing) to casually pop in to say hello.

I'm not going to lie, this appeals to us. We like our privacy at times and enjoy the peace and quiet (do I sound like I am 75 here!?!). Jeez.

Lately two of our neighbors have been quite nosy and forward. They've been stalking our fenceline and it seems like they wait until we get home to come over and chat each afternoon. Sometimes they'll start hollering if we pretend to not acknowledge them. They are friendly but can suddenly become snobbish and will point their nose in the air and storm off. It's the oddest thing. I never know if I have said something to offend them!? Or have bad breath!?

Katie isn't liking all of this either. She's become obsessed with tracking their every move and alerting us when they are stalking around again. She can spend hours staring at them...moving only when they move, sleeping only when they sleep.

Now, I've been raised knowing the importance of proper manners. Polite pleasantries are important...but everyday chats? Seriously? What about the privacy?

We've finally reached a breaking point with our oh-so-neighborly spies. They've gone through our trash! Josh discovered the two stalkers looking over a set of plans that he had drawn up and discarded for a new barn he's building. When confronted they did the weirdest of all things...they ate the evidence in front of us, totally denying that they had taken the trash! Holy moly!

I snapped photos of this for evidence. After the confrontation, they just stormed off, noses in the air again.

I don't want us turning into a Law & Order story one day and no one being able to figure out that the spies next door were in on it. What do we do? Call the police? Put up a bigger privacy fence?

Our evidence...

Eating the plans! Unbelievable.

I'm pretty sure the one on the right is the mastermind behind their stalking.

Katie and the neighbor each keeping an eye on each other.

Sometimes they are out there for hours...just waiting for us.
Thank God for our watchdog!

Nose in the air snobbery!

After asking about the trash incident...they just gave us the evil eye!

Save this photo...if we do come up missing, tell them to look for this guy!

Happy Friday, friends!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A little spring at our step...

Jazzing up the front porch is something that I enjoy...after all, my mom has emphasized that the first impression is everything. This is the one chance to wow people from the beginning...and keep them from noticing that the floors aren't clean. So, I try to keep it as jazzy as possible throughout the year. With winter coming to a close and the 2 weeks of spring before a blazing hot summer arriving, I decided it was time to make a change.

The front door has looked like this for the past few holly berries mixed into a weaving foundation of dried grapevine and Christmas tree sprigs. I have no idea what the actual names are for this type of greenery...which would allow you to assume that is all fake too. It's been fun and festive and a great deterrent from guests noticing the floors.

Before...the wintry mix

The front sconces draped with grapevine and spruce garland

Goodbye holly berries...see you next December.

I so wish I could say that I came up with this great idea to decorate our threshold with grapevines and florals, but the truth is that the interior designer that owned the house before us had it all jazzed up while they showed the place. It was one of the first things that I noticed before walking into the house and I loved it. So, keeping it was essential. Christmas decorating was so much fun and such an easy way to add a little red and green in the non-traditional sense. I've really been looking forward to changing things up for Spring.

After a quick trip to Hobby Lobby, Mom and I were ready to begin the spring transformation. We chose 4 different types on spring flowers, primarily focusing on those that would bring some yellow and pink color to the front and those that were on sale (always an essential).

Since the flowers are sold in large sections connected together, we snipped them apart with wire cutters in order to spread them out over the top of the doorway.

More bang for your buck in my opinion.

Yellow and white flowers (not sure what kind...just pretty).

Some pinks thrown in to bring a little punch to the arrangement.

We stripped away all of the red hollies, spruce sprigs, and any of the remaining wintry assortment and added in a little more greenery to bring things to life.

Katie loved watching us work...I think she was hoping that one of the flower arrangements we brought home had some bacon in it. No such luck.

We focused our color into the center of the doorway and added the yellow and white flowers around the top. These floral sprigs were so easy to add...just shove'em into the grapevine. None of the flowers are actually tacked down or secured. The grapevine is secured to the door frame with small nails and green floral wire. It can easily be adjusted or removed if needed.

After adding in our greenery and yellow and white flowers we wanted to put the pink flowers into the most 'powerful' and noticeable places for an added pop of color.

Kenzie liked the pink flowers the best. She did a great job of protecting the sconce greenery that we would be using later from squirrels that might want to kidnap it. Such a good guard dog.

After a few adjustments to make sure things were balanced...ta da!

Our springtime doorway!

Now, we couldn't quit here...the sconces had to be updated too.

For the sconces, I removed the Christmasy spruce garland and left the dried grapevine as the base layer. I chose an olive leaf looking garland (it came in one long 5ft. section). I draped it over the top of the sconce and secured it to the grapevine with the green floral wire (just so that it wouldn't blow around in the wind).

The final product!

The threshold is officially updated and decorated to add a little Spring to your step when you enter our place. It's a fun, cheap, easy and festive way to keep you from noticing the floors.

All of this work isn't nearly as exhausting as Kenzie makes it out to be...she can be such a drama queen.

What have you done to add a little pizazz to your place for the Spring?