Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Sometime in the early 90s, I realized that my birthday would eventually fall on December 12th, 2012 (12-12-12)... and I waited...

Finally, that day has come and gone.  John and I had a very nice time celebrating what would ordinarily be an un-monumental birthday made special by a trifecta of twelves.  I told John about 12-12-12 back when we were dating, and I think he took it as a personal challenge to make the day great... he spent all day calling it "The Birthday of a Life Time".  (I guess he thinks the odds of my living to be 127 aren't that good... not sure why)

Here are 12 ways we celebrated:
  1. I took the day off of work and John didn't schedule any work.  It was a Wednesday, so that made 2, 2-day weeks on either side of my birthday.
  2. We slept in... for a little bit at least.
  3. John gave me a headset to use when I work from home, the honor of throwing away a shirt of his that I hate, and a bucket of Andes mints.
  4. We drove to Glen Rose and ate lunch at a sweet little shop called Storybook Cafe.
  5. Storybook Cafe is a bookshop and cafe in one.  It was charming and particularly cute with all its Christmas decor.
    They had neat little table decorations and games... this one is holiday dominoes.
    And there was a snowman!

  6. After lunch, we went to Dinosaur Valley State Park.
  7. We saw fossils and dinosaur models.

  8. We took a hike.
  9. We expressed our inner children on the swing-set.
  10. Then we took a break to enjoy the nice weather at the park.  I read a book and John decided to take a nap.
  11. After the park, we returned to Glen Rose for a nice dinner at The Riverhouse Grill, which is an old mansion converted into a restaurant.  
  12. We had chocolate cake for dessert.
  13. We drove home and enjoyed a movie on our early Christmas present to our-selves (a TV and DVD player in the master bedroom)
In my opinion, 12-12-12 was a great success... well worth the wait... not sure what we'll do to top it on the next 12-12-12 for my 127th birthday.  :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

It feels important to take a little time this time of year to think specifically about what I'm thankful for.  It seems like once a month or so, John and I find ourselves saying to each other that we're incredibly blessed in our lives, so I know that as I set out to write this post, I have no shortage of things to be thankful for this year.
  • Always first on my list: My wonderful family.  My fabulous husband of a year and a half, excellent parents who are still so encouraging in my adult life, great in-laws who hosted John and I on our Greek excursion this year, a brother I seem to love more with each year that we grow older (and further from our sibling rivalry years) and a brother-in-law that I'm still enjoying getting to know better.
  • The prospects of potentially adding another heart to that beautiful family (no, there's not any news on that front yet, but the prospects are an exciting part of life)
  • An extended family that sometimes seems even more eager than John and I about said "prospects" :)
  • Many close friends that bring joy to our everyday lives through dinners, parties, UNT athletics, and many other get-togethers.
  • A comfortable home with a successful renovation project this year (Thanks Hillary!)
  • An employer that respects me and my contributions and celebrated them with a manager promotion this year.
  • 2 adorable dogs - Happily, both now in good health!
  • Randi, for introducing me to my new favorite hobby: Crochet.
  • That John and I have no major trials or health concerns, and that those in our lives who do have health concerns are under the care of first-class doctors. 
  • And... that I'm pretty sure the Mayans are wrong, and John and I will have many more years on Earth to celebrate our lives together. ;)

Thank you Lord for your many blessings!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fall Crafting

John's been busy recently... working every day at the state fair, so I took some down time to work on some fall Pinterest crafts.

A couple weeks ago, Kim and I made this "Thanks" banner:

This weekend, I got some fall decor for the kitchen table and the tops of the cabinets:

And I made a few crafts:
This one is direct from Pinterest

This is my own creation from a little Pinterest inspiration.  It's yarn wrapped Styrofoam, a disassembled candle ring, and crochet flowers from a scarf pattern on Pinterest.

Some decor for the entertainment center

Closeup of the EEK I made.  This was partly from "BOO" letters on Pinterest... I already had a "BOO" craft though, so I went with "EEK".
I've really enjoyed being crafty... I'm already trying to pick my Thanksgiving and Christmas crafts to do next!

Also, in the last couple weeks, we had a refrigerator mishap that moved up our acquisition of a new fridge... My picture of the fall decor has the new fridge, so I thought I'd update my Kitchen before and after.

Great 2012 Remodel: Guest Room

I know it's long overdue, but I've finally got the before and after shots for the last room... the guest room.  We were slightly delayed in completing the guest room because we had to get a new bed and by the time we had it the new bed in place, I'd stopped thinking about before and after posts... better late than never I suppose.

Before:  (Looks like I took the before pictures without the light on... not sure what I was thinking... maybe the problem is that I wasn't thinking)

Best we can gather, they started work on the guest room the first day, but they closed the door and we didn't know.

Here's what it looked like on day 3:

On day 4, other than carpets, I think this was the first room "finished":

Before the painters left however, we discovered that they had broken the bed... we figure that's why they had the room closed off on day one and why it was so put back together by day 4.  The painters didn't put any other rooms back together so nicely.  Needless to say, the price of that Ikea bed was deducted from what we paid the painters.  Breaking the bed wasn't what upset us the most... it was that they tried to cover it up.

After the carpet:

Closeup of the broken bed... it was relatively well concealed when it's assembled, but you can see here that it's not just a crack.

After with a new, taller Ikea bed:

And the Before and After shot:

I think this room, more so than the others, really needs more decor help before it will be finished, but at least it's got fresh paint, new carpet, and a new bed.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Goal Achieved!

Back in January, I set out to lose 24 pounds, which would put me at a round number that's safely in the "normal' range for my height.  I posted about my goal on this blog in January, and I updated when I reached 10 pounds. 

My original target was to lose all 24 pounds by mid-June... I didn't quite make it.  I was somewhere around 22 pounds when I got to my target date.  That last 2 pounds was the hardest to drop, probably because I wasn't trying as hard by that point.  I had stopped tracking calories when I reached 20 pounds because, let's face it, that gets old after 4 months. 

Today, I finally reached my original goal. - Part of me thought I might never make it... that I might just stay 2 pounds away, but I did it!


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Great 2012 Remodel: Kitchen!

Drum roll please... I'm finally posting about the kitchen!

I was going to save the kitchen for last because it's the most dramatic change, but there is still one room left  that I still haven't posted about.  The guest room still needs a new bed to replace the one the painters broke (which we're planning to get next week), so I can't finish that post yet.  But the kitchen after pictures are ready... So here you go, pictures of the room everyone seems to comment on the most, the Kitchen...

This picture shows some of the worse things we were trying to fix with the whole remodel: scratched laminate, blue counter tops, no cabinet hardware, and one of the drawers didn't even match.

Day 1: Granite Counter-tops 

Day 2: Tile started

Day 3: Tile floor and back-splash finished.

Day 4: Cabinets preped for painting and starting to remove wall paper border.

Day 5: Cabinets painted

Day 6: Painting the walls

Painters didn't understand at first that the half wall should also be blue.
 Day 7: Paint finished

Day 8: The kitchen became the new storage space to make room for new carpet in the rest of the house.

Day 9: New Lights!

And here's how it looks today...

One of my favorite parts of the whole remodel: no more leaky faucet, we now have a working sprayer, and the "shallow" side of the new sink is good deal deeper than the old one... all together, a much more functional sink.

And the side by side views:

So here's a summary of what we did:
  • New counter tops (granite instead of blue laminate)
  • New back-splash (tile instead of blue laminate)
  • New sink
  • New sink faucet
  • Painted the cabinets
  • Added cabinet hardware
  • Replaced the laminate flooring with tile
  • Expanded the tile area to go all the way to the other wall
  • 2 New light fixtures (in particular, replacing the old florescent light)
  • Painted the ceiling (the kitchen was the primary cause for painting all the ceilings in the house... there were clusters of spots on the ceiling... we never could figure out what the previous owners could have done to create the spots)
  • Painted the walls (a beautiful blue color... note to whomever made the original selections for this house, blue looks much better on the walls than on the cabinets)
Thank you, Hillary, for helping me realize that white was the way to go with the cabinets despite my initial hesitation; I love it.  And thanks for all your help with this whole process... we could not have done it all without you!