About Me

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I am a daughter, sister, wife, mom to three cats and one dog (each with their own personalities), working woman, renovator, landlord and friend. I love to laugh, read a good book, enjoy spending time with family and friends and hanging with the Zoo! This blog is keep track of the comings and going our house and this great adventure called life. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Blue Sponge Paint

Do you like dark blue?  Yeah?  Me too! 
Do you like light blue?   Not pastel baby blue, but sky blue...sure.
Do you like white?  Same here.
Do you like peachy/pink?  No?  Me neither!

What about all four together?

Yeah, that was our kitchen about four hours ago... AND NOW....

WOW!  I kind of can't believe it used to be bright blue and sponge painted.  It's definitely WHITE and now a blank slate to better help us decide what color to paint the kitchen moving forward.  So incredibly glad this is done - finally

I was going to work on getting my dag-gone sewing machine to work, but changing the kitchen felt more accomplishing since I don't know what's wrong with the sewing machine (I don't seem to have the best patience for it right now).  I might bring it with me to the Mom's tomorrow to see if she can help since it used to be hers...

And if I don't jump on tomorrow...HAPPY TURKEY DAY TO EVERYONE!!


Sunday, November 21, 2010


I finally met the little guy yesterday!  Oh man, he is one handsome fella...  I have been secretly pining to meet the newly arrived Mr. Owen Charles or Baby A as I lovingly call him, with his tiny fingers and toes. 

I called Joy on the way home from a birthday party to see how their weekend was panning out.  She said the coast was clear and we could come out any time we wanted.  I was thrilled!  Told Jay when I got home, but unfortunately he wasn't feeling good (fighting something in his chest), so thought it best to not give a cold to the tiny person and stay home.  I was completely bummed out - one of our two days to see each other and we weren't going to spend it together! - but not meeting Owen would have crushed me more, so I said my goodbyes (maybe with a tear or two - I'm going to be screwed with kids) and hit the road. 

A quick stop at Home Depot for Kev's requested kitchen sprayer and a plant for Owen to grow with him, a pit stop to fuel up and now I'm on my way.  It was a gorgeous drive, said my hellos to Heidi as I passed by and marveled at the sun setting on my left with the moon high on my right.  I forgot how much I love that drive! 

Walking in the door, Skylar greeted me with a welcoming hello making me wish I had brought Hunter for her to play with.  I passed along the plant and scooped up Mr. Owen for our formal introductions on his 13th day in this world.  Meredyth and Ryan were there during an impromptu stop, so I was able to visit with them also for a while before they headed towards their original destination.  She just couldn't pass up an opportunity to see the little man.  I stuck around for almost three hours...held Owen for a good chunk of that with his radiating heat, Joy and Kevin fed me (thank you!), took some pictures of the adorable tiny person and Joy granted me a mini photo-shoot of Owen and I - hahaha!  I was also able to see their new kitchen (my Dad did the corian - looks great! and I love the painted cabinets), Owen's room (great job Kev on the built in and closet organizer), new paint throughout - love the soft grey color, new floors and updated door handles.  They went to town re-doing everything before Owen came - very smart! - and the finished product is gorgeous!  Enough about their house, which is intriguing to me and probably me alone, here are some pictures of the little guy in all his glory...

Thank you to Family A in the woods of Harpers Ferry.  I had a wonderful time hanging out, meeting your little guy and spreading some love your way!  I hope to see you soon, until then I will have to control my withdrawls :) 

Resting his head on his hands, fast asleep...

Love the tiny toes!
Matching in our stripes

Accomplished Sunday

I did not sleep well last night, so Jay let me sleep in until 9am this morning (lets me catch some extra Zs now since I won't get to when kiddos come)...just Hunter and I snoozing away.  I was awoken with a kiss and a 'Good Morning Sunshine' (best way to wake up!)  We chatted and made the bed then folded the laundry and put it away.  The Husband headed towards the living room...

I have been meaning to pack away my summer shirts and pull out the winter ones, so decided I should do it now while up and moving.  I always find I put away clothes that I don't wear that often, but never want to cut anything so just pack it up, telling myself I'll deal with it next season - which I never do.  My friend Melissa has a good trick that I have begun to utilize - turn all your hangers backwards and when you wear something and hang it back up, turn the hanger around the right way - make sense?  At the end of the season, any hangers that are still backwards are clothes you never wore, so toss them instead of packing them up again!  Easy peasy and makes sense.  I was able to get rid of twelve shirts!!  Very motivating.  I hung up my winter shirts and yelled to the Husband about my accomplishment.  He was very glad - always stating I have too many clothes, mentioned I could probably get rid of other clothes in my closet.  The challenge was on :)  I asked him if he'd help me...sure, I know what you have and haven't worn (with a smile on his face).  I pulled out my casual wear t-shirts on hangers (33 of them) - kept maybe one third of them!  Next were my folded t-shirts (picture five piles of 10 shirts each on an upper shelft) - kept maybe half of them!  Lastly were my dresses - fancy dresses, bridesmaid dresses and college slutty dresses (maybe 15 total), I tossed half of them and kept only the ones I'll wear.  I reorganized my scarves/belts/purses trading places and incorporating a new hook Jay screwed up for me.  We cut through his clothes too - his hanging shirts were cut in half easy!  After it was all said and done, we opened up half his closet, which now houses winter jackets and my dresses. 

From our bedroom, we ventured into the guest room - duh, duh duhhh - this is a catch all for anything and everything!  The closet was stuffed to the gills...we pulled out about ten pillows, two comforters, a never opened blanket, decorations, more clothes (most were tossed) and winter jackets (now housed in our bedroom closet).  We re-arranged things - the dresser had four empty drawers, so we filled it with pillowcases and extra sheets; moved the games from the upper shelf to the floor of the closet (easier for kids); pillows galore up top now; moved a small dresser (used to house pillow cases) into closet and filled it with my crafting fabric and topped it with comforters.  The room opens up now with a piece of furniture in the closet now. 

Moving to the living room (first time I left the bedrooms all morning!), we vacuumed.  I LOVE a vacuumed house!!  Jay connected the computer to the tv to see how that looks.  We are probably going to kill DirectTV and watch tv from our computer (hulu.com here we come!)  It's $80 to get the internet and another $80 for DirectTV - RIP OFF!  We are now watching the Raiders/Steelers game from the computer - not too shabby!  It's all about who you are able to stream from...aka Napster for TV.

Talk about an accomplished Sunday!

Friday, November 19, 2010


My husband is trying his hardest to teach me to relax...to fully and completely, no thoughts in your head...relax.  I have a very hard time with relaxing given there's never enough time in the day and always too mcuh to do!  I am learning today.  I have a massage today.  A selfish, gifted, Happy Anniversary massage at the spa in town.  I can't wait!  Thank you Husband for this gift...you are amazing!  Who knows, maybe you'll get one this weekend (wink wink)!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hump Day - Version Two

(Written last night)

Another quiet drive home... Lots on my mind due to this week's events - won't bore you with those and don't have the energy to type it all right now. 

One of the biggest things on my mind right now is m-o-n-e-y and I hate how much hold over me that word has.  It stresses me out A LOT!  Are we saving enough?  Are we making enough?  Are we living paycheck to rent check to paycheck?  What if life happens, are we prepared?  There's so much that we want to be done with the house - are we focusing on the 'need' items and not the 'want' items?  How do you appropriately prioritize everything?  The basement-want that done, but not necessary; a new vehicle-need but truck still running today; extra bedroom and hall bath-need closet in bedroom and rework bath before little ones come; paint the house-not needed, I need to get over it; kitchen redo-it works as is now; new flooring-not needed but will soon; new roof and gutters-need items; What's going to happen come next August?  Are we doing something wrong to feel so strapped (or is that just me?)?  Gives me a headache and exhausts me just thinking about it all!!

Speaking of the fam, Daddio called tonight when I was moments from the house asking if I wanted to catch a movie.  It always puts a smile on my face when he asks that...I enjoy spending time with him - even if it is just sitting quietly in the dark (is that strange?)  I struggled with wanting to go, but already being home and seeing Hunter's wiggle butt excitement, it was too daunting to think of leaving him again for more than an hour's stretch.  Do others have an internal conflict similar to this?  I struggle with him most (the cats are more independent with the ability to entertain themselves outside) - wondering if I'm playing with him enough, if I'm giving him enough love, if I leave him alone too much.  But then he climbs in the chair with me and licks my tears away which makes me laugh and smile, knowing his is unconditional love too.  It's my own struggle within and I need to get a handle on it - all of it.

Thanks for listening...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Time for a bath...

Chase the Cat is laying beside me giving himself a bath.  He's cleaning his face and paws - I LOVE watching them do this! :)  Speaking of which, I need to unwind...going to take my own bath...

Update:  A bath was not taken...felt too lazy of an action...needed to get stuff done.  Be productive.  I spray painted a metal basket black (needs one more coat), hoping it can be a catch all in the foyer or living room possibly; putty filled the holes in the hallway, now need to sand them down; filled and ran the dishwasher; straighted up the dining room; devoured a few chocolate chip cookies and watched four of the five Office episodes.  All was more productive than a bath :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Marietta, PA

Our friends Nate and Holly & Gus and Deanna live in this quaint little town in Pennsylvania called Marietta.  Jay used to work with Nate years ago and they have remained close in friendships.

Marietta is a tiny town - two blocks by four blocks or something crazy like that! - which has a railroad running thru it and a river beside it!  It's a tiny place where you know everyone and everyone knows you.  They have an old main street with shops/businesses and many of the homes have the 'old charm' of yesteryears.

We went to visit for the first time last summer - it was Marietta Day.  Just the sound of that is fabulous - it wouldn't work in Warrenton, but it does in Marietta.  All the townspeople set up shop down the main drag selling their most prized possessions - it's essentially a town yard sale :)  We got a late start and missed most of the fun -- we had even talked Jacqui and her roomie to meet us up there; they never turn down a yard sale so went but left before we arrived.  We stayed the night and hung out at Shank's Tavern after a race in the pouring rain!  Anyways...it was a fabulous time with Nate, Holly, Maya, Rowan and Sylvie being our gracious hostess.

For the wedding, we received a gift certificate to The Railroad House Inn for one night's stay.  We kept never finding the right time to go and it was expiring the end of the year.  We decided on Halloween weekend, hoping to see the kiddos all dressed up for some trick or treating.  Headed up after Jay got off work on Friday (with Hunter in tow) and the drive took longer than we originally planned, not arriving until close to 2am.  Poor Holly was literally writing us a note saying she couldn't stay awake any longer and to make ourselves at home!  We said our goodnights and crashed pretty quickly ourselves.

The next morning, Rowan had a soccer tournament -- let me say, these people are avid soccer players -- we made it to game two and Jay took numerous pictures of the team playing with Nate on the sidelines as Coach.  Rowan scored his first goal and wanted to see the pictures over and over again - so excited!  After the game, we ventured for some yummy lunch at Mexitaly, owned by Greg and his wife (more PA friends, close with the gang).  They make delicious burritos - of course I got Mexican!!  After lunch, we ventured to a birthday party with the kids and Hunter...hung outside, ate some cupcakes and took Hunter for a nice long walk down to the Railroad House Inn.  We passed some gorgeous homes along the way - all on the river and railroad tracks.  We checked into the hotel and walked back to Nate and Holly's to drop Hunter off (they watched him for us Saturday night) and grab our luggage.  At the hotel, we took a nap and then had dinner in the restaurant downstairs - great, delicious food by the fire!!  Afterwards, we went back to Nate and Holly's to hang out for a bit -- the place was jumping...the kitchen was packed!  It's pretty much a 'anyone is welcome as long as the door is open' situation.  They were playing music and having multiple conversations; the kids were running in and out, up and down.  Rowan asked me how many teeth I had; he thought he had 40 teeth in his mouth, which cracked me up.  I told him probably not with his small seven year old mouth and then I told him to 'open wide' and counted all twenty of his teeth :)  He was thrilled to know how many he had...very inquisitive guy!  Things died down around 2am when we ventured back to our room...knowing this Saturday night was no different than most - just that we were a part of it this week.

The next morning, we had complimentary breakfast downstairs and then checked out after a good chat with the owners.  They have a dog - evidenced by the kong in the hallway and leash at the backdoor :)  Next time, we are allowed to bring Hunter, but he can't stay unattended in the room.  That morning was Market - this is the real reason I'm writing this post, so I can remember how wonderful Market is in Marietta!  The town puts on a farmer's market during the warm months, selling everything from fresh bread to plants to hand-made clothing.  We were lucky enough to catch the last weekend I believe and had a great time, wishing we lived closer or in a town that was so tightly woven.  People brought their instruments - Nate hauled multiple guitars/mandolins in a stroller - hahaha!  There were about eight or so people in a circle just jamming off each other and singing.  It was amazingly beautiful!  We walked back 'home' then Maya had a soccer game later in the day with Nate coaching the sidelines again.  She's ten but crazy mature - almost like you are talking to an adult mature - plus she's tall and lanky for her few ten years.  She played well and towered over most of the other girls with a mean kick.  The Bengals played the Dolphins that day (or read: Jay's team played Nate's team that day) so we taped the game during soccer and watched it later with most everyone, except Jay and Rowan falling asleep on the couch/chairs.  Once the game was done, we started packing things up and headed home with Hunter exhausted, curled up in the backseat fast asleep before we got thru town.

It was a great time seeing friends and a nice break from the routine!  Here are some pics from the trip...

Maya with her yellow shoes and a mean kick!

Music Circle


Emptying the thoughts...

Free your mind and the rest will follow...  -En Vogue

I drove home tonight with the radio off.  I do this often - more often than I'd like to admit honestly.  It's my way to unwind from work, from the conversations, from the noise.  It is when I have too many thoughts in my head, ping-ponging all over the place in there.  I can't concentrate on anything the radio says, just everything inside my head.  So, here it goes...I'm unloading, emptying it out...in no particular order...
  • To do when I get home...fold laundry, move load from washer to dryer, cook food - make lunch for tomorrow, feed the zoo (first and foremost), pee (second on the list), MyMoney, play with sewing machine, paint hallway, vaccuum...
  • Obviously there's not enough time to get all that done, so I have no choice other than to be okay with that, but deep down I'm not.  
  • I'm procrastinating on this computer.  See a few thoughts down - this new/(old) all mine computer :)
  •  I looked like a Target employee today - red shirt, khakis and dark shoes.  Didn't notice this until I walked by the restroom mirror at the end of the day - hahaha!
  • On a happy note, my pants are loose - they haven't been this loose for almost two years!!
  • My electronic-saavy Husband reconfigured my old dent and scratcher AND his laptop for under $500...this is where I'm typing from now.  It's great to have it back and it's all mine :)  
  • Mason the Cat is sleeping in Hunter's dog bed at night.  We aren't sure if Mason kicks Hunter out, which leads Hunter onto our bed; when we tell him to get down and in his bed, he's back up moments later, at which point we find Mason curled up in Hunter's bed.  Need I remind you all that we call him Mason the Dog at times.  Anywho, we bought a cheapo $5 cat bed at PetCo this weekend in the hopes that Mason will use that, but no such luck yet...Hunter just thinks it's a new toy for him.
  • Money feels like a corset at times - no more explanation needed.
  • Meeting Mr. Owen is postponed until this weekend sometime...
  • Sallie and the kiddos are in town this weekend - I need to see them while here and meet the littlest addition...
  • Olivia's bday party is on Saturday...
  • The cats just brought a mouse inside...the rest of the thoughts will have to wait!
UPDATE:  Laying in bed re-emptying my head...seeing what I got accomplished...trying to sleep soon...
  • What did I get done tonight?  I cut up a shite-ton of vegetables.  I browned up two pounds of turkey meat.  I added it all together with some taco seasoning in the crock pot.  I originally bought squash and zuchini for a remake of a pork tenderloin dish I made a few weeks ago, but realized in rummaging thru the freezer that we don't have any pork tenderloin (too expensive and wasn't on sale, so we didn't buy any).  Anyways, so this is what's in the crock pot and I'm hoping it makes a great dish to eat with tortillas and some cheese.  
    • 2lbs ground turkey
    • taco seasoning galore - you can never have too much of it!
    • Veggies:  2 yellow squash, 2 zucchinis, 1.5 tomatoes, green beans, can of corn and a can of beans
    • Some chicken broth stock to add liquid and possibly flavor
    • Cut up garlic
  • Mason was laying with me in bed and has now proceeded to curl up in Hunter's dog bed! (See above items)
  • Chase the Cat did bring a small mouse into the house, but I was able to put it outside hardly any effort.  This has become routine to a degree - especially when the weather is changing.
  • I was able to fold the dried clothes and place the washed ones in the dryer - love when that task is done.
  • I need to post about Chase the Cat (I didn't forget about you my love)
  • Need to post about Coleman Elem 5k run
  • Need to post about Marietta PA
  • Need to post about wedding and anniversary
  • Need to update on HD craziness and how I'm not sure if we'll do the window route from them again
  • Hunter is roaming the house somewhere, Mason is passed out in his bed, Chase is sitting on the bench and I'm sure Parker is trying to find some crumbs by Hunter's crate!


    Happy Birthday Mom! 

    I see you in me all the time.  Not just in the mirror :) but in the way I react to a situation, the way I respond to a question, my mannerisms and my love.  At times, I'm caught off guard by it and a split second later think, Woah, that was totally Mom!  Then find myself laughing realizing that I am you and you are Granny.  It's inevitable, unavoidable and fabulous. 

    Thank you for everything that you do for Dustin and I...we couldn't get thru this life without you by our side.  I love you and hope you are having a fabulous day!

    Friday, November 12, 2010

    Boys and Girls Club 5k Run

    I need goals, milestones, small accomplishments.  Make it to the mailbox.  Good job.  Okay, now make it to the telephone pole far ahead.  You can do this, just watch your breathing.  I'm good with goals.

    I've been wanting to get back into running road races for some time now, not really wanting to go it alone, but unable to find someone to 'run' with - and by 'run' I mean, go thru the motions with me because I can't talk or keep another's pace while running, so it's not for the companionship just the motivation. :)  I ran a few races in my day around four years ago!  The two (out of three) I remember are:

    1)  March 2006 - St. Patty's Day 8k with Julie and Mike, took approx 50 mins (not too shabby); I enjoyed this course since it would bend upon itself (essentially, the persons ahead of you would pull a you-ie and run against you, which gave me motivation to keep going - if they can do it, so can I).

    2)  April 2007 - Fodderstack 10k with the bro (a smoker and a drinker, still beat me!), don't even remember my time, very long hard course that didn't bend upon itself at all! with hills too; one hill so bad, there was an ambulance at the top to help people.  I walked part of that race, but did finish the last mile running.

    Fast forward three and a half years...

    3)  Oct 2010 - Boys and Girls 5k, time: 38:54.  I am happy with that time seeing as I haven't played soccer in three years and haven't been working out hardcore to prepare for the race.  Here's some pictures...
    Crack of Dawn, Sun Oct 24th - Before the race (time stamp is wrong)
    Don't I look tired??  Oh man I was but also jazzed up/nervous for the run!  I actually received the leggings as a 'favorite gift' from my friend Jodi the evening before (the pretty one in blue in the attached post on Joy's blog; Jodi is a hardcore runner so I thought it was perfect)  :)  Jay came with me to the race and would sneak up at one of the hills or corners when I least expected him - a pleasant surprise pushing me to give it my all as to not dissapoint him or myself.  This course was full of HILLS as it wound thru downtown Warrenton. 

    I made it though...near the back end and I definitely walked a chunk of it, but I finished it while running still!  I got done and cried.  I always do after a road race - the overwhelming feeling of accomplishment, knowing my two legs took me the whole way, I didn't give up, the relief of it being over - all those emotions run through me and I always cry! :) I'm silly that way...

    I ate an orange and a banana, had some water and stayed until the last runner came thru for the 10k (basically you run the course twice) cheering them on.  I didn't place or receive a medal, but I got this snazzy t-shirt. 

    My next race is a 5k race tomorrow in Marshall at the Coleman Elementary School.  I'll be huffing it alone since Home Depot is coming out again but I know The Husband is there in spirit cheering me on!  Will let you know how it goes... 

    Bunky's New Home

    Some of you might remember this story from a few years ago; others might not have heard it yet.  In honor of Veteran’s Day and a community that came together, I have to share it again…

    A dear friend of mine and one of my brother’s best friends, Bunky is an Army Ranger who left for boot camp right after high school in 2001.  He was the lead in his battalion and was the first to go into a location and scope out the scene; he is a Ranger, one of few elite and held the position with honor and pride.  He was less than a month shy of coming home after two tours overseas when a sniper shot him from behind.  The bullet came in the back of his neck and out his jaw, paralyzing him from the shoulders down.  Even being hurt, he didn’t want to leave his friends, his ‘brothers’.  He was transported to Germany for a short while before being transferred to Walter Reed Hospital.  I visited him at Walter Reed and was amazed at how positive he was, even in his condition at the time.  It was overwhelming…his fellow soldiers came to visit him that day – they had been there when he was shot and came from all over the states to show their support and love.  Bunky was released and Front Royal (our hometown) embraced him, raising money with a Bachelor Auction and Food Drives, helping to buy a much needed van and wheelchair.  His parents helped to take care of him, splitting their time between two houses. 

    Homes For Our Troops heard about Bunky’s story and decided he needed a proper home.  Three of the largest builders in town decided to help, along with friends and citizens of Front Royal.  My brother and his friends first and foremost…  The town and local companies donated their time and money to build him a gorgeous home in the mountains of Browntown!  My dad’s company, Heartwood Solid Surfaces, donated the corian for the bathrooms, shower and tub surrounds.  The official key ceremony was last night, when Bunky first saw the inside finished product.  I had the priveledge to be there last night, missing the ceremony, but being able to see Bunky and his gorgeous house.  It gave you chills just walking in the front door – seeing the possibilities ahead for him and knowing that Front Royal helped to build this for him.  He absolutely deserves this home and all the memories that will be made here!  Happy Veteran’s Day!

    Here are a few articles and videos to commemorate the event:

    Bunky and I - 2001 - Last day before shipping off to the Army

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010

    Baby A

    Our dear friends Joy and Kevin are parents!  They have a tiny baby boy, Owen Charles, as of Sunday morning.  I am beyond thrilled for them both! 

    Joy called yesterday morning and passed along the wonderful news.  'Hey Sue, I have some good news...I'm a Mom!'  Even over the phone, I could hear the smile in her voice.  She said everything went well, he has a full head of dark hair and they were excited to get Owen home to settle in together - their new family.  I wonder how Skylar is doing with the newest addition??

    They are parents - Mom and Dad...  I know we are at that age, but the magnitude of that change is amazing to me still - I'm not sure if that will ever dissipate.  This new, tiny little bundle is all theirs to love and cuddle and teach and protect. 

    Jay and I are hoping to go visit this Sunday...can't wait to meet the little guy! :)  Gotta get working on this quilt...

    Saturday, November 6, 2010

    Try Again Friday

    I live in Warrenton and work in Reston.  Jacqui** lives in Fairfax and works in Rosslyn.  We are always trying to meet up and catch up after work.  When the stars align, we usually sit outside 'Bucks (as she lovingly calls it) and talk for hours, literally - her with a fancy coffee drink and me with my extra whip hot chocolate.  It's wonderful! 

    Most evenings we play the try again game... I'll shoot her a text when I'm close to leaving work or she'll send me on when she's on the metro, but the usual responses are 'Already home, will try again', 'Still at work, will try again' or 'Have plans, will try again'.  So we've dubbed it the try again game and get a slight kick out of the numerous weeks where we try to meet up but it just doesn't work.  One of the best parts is that neither of us gets upset if it just doesn't work one evening because we understand busy and know it will work out eventually.

    Alas, we have a solution - better than we've been doing at least.  It's called, you guessed it, Try Again Friday.  Every couple of Fridays, we meet in Gainesville after Jacqui has taken the train home and at times after I've been home to feed and take care of the zoo.  I love Jacqui for meeting me half way in Gainesville after she's been at work, on the train and in traffic.  It makes me feel not so far away!  Depending on timing, we'll grab a quick bite or just 'Bucks then it depends...tonight we walked around Target for well over an hour - didn't buy one thing (yay us!) - and I had a great time!  We toured the store basically - starting out in home goods, venturing to the pjs and sweatpants, the candle section (I think we sniffed every candle they have - Home Goods brand is nasty and Yankee still wins every time), clearance Halloween, Christmas (can't believe it's around the corner!!), scarves, hats and finally socks :)

    I can't wait for our next Try Again Friday!

    **Jacqui and I met once while at Mason - she lived in the same building as Megs and Sallie.  I'd see her occasionally at the Pourhouse, but not often.  Fast forward five years, Sallie is getting married in St. Thomas (gorgeous!) with Jacqui as a bridesmaid and myself as a guest; we happened to be on the same flight.  I stayed at her place and Stephanie took us to the metro which led into Reagan Airport at o'dark hours.  We were sitting on the plane, excited to start the trip and over the intercom comes '...everyone traveling to the Islands needed to leave the plane due to a delay on the runway...' and we wouldn't make our connection.  Our luggage stays and off it goes - no delay, pretty much took off immediately!  We catch a later flight that leaves us in Miami with a six hour layover - that is where our friendship blossomed...sitting outside the Miami airport, smoking cigarettes and eating pizza and bananas, missing all the fun, wishing we were in St. Thomas! We finally made it later that evening and had a fabulous time.  But that trip solidified our friendship - I wouldn't be the person I am today without her.  Over the years she's sat and listened to my crying over broken hearts, broken families, the excitement of buying my first home, new jobs, Halloweens and Valentine's Days, road trips, finding love and being a bridesmaid at my wedding.  I can't imagine my life without her in it... Love you girl!

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010


    This room I'm sitting in right now has evolved since we've lived here...  It originally started out as the dining room - easily decided when we first moved in with the only problem being we don't use the dining room much - I don't even have pictures of it being used as a dining room!  During the week with our opposite schedules, we fly solo for meals at home.  We needed a better use of the space...

    After some rearranging of rooms last winter, it became our Office.  It was a nice bright alternative to the extra bedroom, which we turned into the playroom for Erin and Bailey.  This is when we first rearranged in February. 

    Where did the dining room go, you ask?  We put it in the study (I guess that's what you'd call this room) off the kitchen.  It's now perfectly placed at arms reach to the kitchen.  Only downside is when the table is fully open, it's a tight squeeze to get around, which might even be an understatement!  We bought the chandelier you see in the picture above for the dining room table, so that was moved as well and a ceiling fan took it's place.  Here's a pic of the dining room...
    Wow, this picture is OLD!  We now have the chandelier on the ceiling and a large armoire where the dresser is, which is a close matching set to the table.  And yes, the walls are that ugly peach pink!!  I need to paint it badly...

    The office space is similar still, yet evolved to an even better situation - we added a library. :)  I absolutely love (love, love, love, love, love) the idea of floor to ceiling bookcases with so many books to get lost in!  Thanks to my friend Jacqui and her spending spree, I picked up four well-loved white bookcases she no longer needed.  I finally got my 'library'...

    I like it best this way...eventually we might close off the door to the kitchen and add french doors between the office/library and the living room.  Paint is next...gotta pick a color...

    Tuesday, November 2, 2010

    She Sees... He Sees...

    She sees...unpainted walls without any color.
    He sees...perfectly fine walls for the time being.

    She sees...the perfect piece of furniture to hold towels and bed linens.
    He sees...a bathroom that needs to be remodeled.

    She sees...the temperature is dropping fast!
    He sees...a chimney that needs to be cleaned before using.

    She sees...a back screen door that is letting in a draft.
    He sees...the need to switch out the screen for the glass insert.

    She sees...the beautiful backyard view from the dining room windows.
    He sees...drafty windows that need some insulating curtains.

    I was running through this exercise in my head tonight on my way home realizing that in many situations we see different needs.  At first this struck me as alarming - how are we going to get through this journey when we don't see the same thing? - but then I came to the conclusion that it's okay that we don't see eye to eye on everything.  Opposites attract...the yin and the yang...I guess you'd say, I'm the dreamer forgetful one and he's the practical one.  He keeps me grounded and on my toes at the same time. :) 

    We do see eye to eye on the important things...

    She sees...our children growing up in this house.
    He sees...this house growing old with us.

    She sees...us enjoying a fabulous view on the front porch swing holding hands.
    He sees...grandchildren laughing in the front yard.

    She sees...a hound dog curled up beside us.
    He sees...a hound dog laying on the front stoop.

    She sees...a loving husband standing beside her who will never give up on her.
    He sees...someone who will always love him unconditionally and stand beside him, regardless of the situation.

    Monday, November 1, 2010

    Wallpaper and surprises...

    I truly despise wallpaper!  Why did it have to be a 1980 fab?  Each room of our house has some sort of wallpaper on the walls...professionally done wallpaper!  Most of it is hideous, except our guest bedroom which has dainty yellow and orange flowers that I love, but that too will come down someday.

    Jay and I started to tear down the wallpaper in the foyer last winter - first room you see coming into our house.  We borrowed a steamer from his friend Lisa and went to town during all the snow.  We initially tore off all the top layers in the foyer and the hallway, then used the steamer for the backing.  (Side note - I am going to frame a piece of wallpaper from each room as we tear it apart as a reminder of what was there before us.)  It was slow moving at first trying not to burn yourself or the other person, but eventually we got into a rhythm - one person steam, the other go behind and scrape the backing.  It moved pretty quickly and we were done.  Part A, check.  But then it sat with the foyer walls plain for months!

    Part B - clean and spackle.There was a large anchor hole in one wall that was too big to patch, so I bought a patch plate but it was too noticeable.  After taking a free Home Depot 'How To' seminar I was told to cut a square in the drywall around the hole and then cut a new piece of drywall to fill that hole and add a 2x4 behind it in case you want to hang a picture later then spackle it up. It was all quite daunting but I was pretty sure I could handle this...'Okay, I can do this' was what I remember telling myself.  Hahahaha - crazy girl!  I bought some drywall - that was interesting - and took it home...cut out my hole in the wall and to my surprise found this...
    Yep, that's a PBR bottle in our foyer wall!!  Pretty sure it's from when they built the house in 1977!!  Hahahaha - still makes me laugh remembering my astonishment and wondering what else was in our walls.  That was eventful...  (Side note - We saved the PBR bottle...it now sits on our dining room mantle.  I might put it in a shadowbox one day with the piece of wallpaper I saved from the foyer.)  I trudged on, cutting my square out and a similarly sized piece to fill the hole then spackled around to secure it.  It didn't turn out very good - lumpy, noticeable and nasty.  Luckily Jay fixed it while I was out of town for work (he was getting annoyed with staring at it I think) which thrilled me to no end!  It's still a bit noticeable with the glossy paint, but it looks like the perfect place to hang a picture!

    Last winter, we never got to steaming the backing from the hallway...fast forward eight months and it's finally done!  I did it tonight and am so glad it's over.  It bothered me each time I walked down the hallway and I'd make comments shortly after the foyer was done, but no bites from The Husband.  So, I sucked it up... I was steaming and scraping as one team and the process moved along quite efficiently.  Honestly, as I got paper stuck to my feet and glue on my fingertips, I felt accomplished but I wanted Jay to be there to help, to help make this house into our house.  I realize there are other ways we can make this into our house together... So now, this indecisive girl, gets to choose all the paint colors since this husband of mine doesn't paint either! :)