Sunday, June 24, 2012

Change is good!

If you know Dr. M and I, you know how much we love house projects!  Though the list of things we want to do is never-ending, we've done quite a bit since we moved in about 6 weeks ago.  We were lucky to find a house that really just neededWw some cosmetic updates, which we think are the most fun anyway.  Here are a few of the projects so far ("before" on the left, "after" on the right):

CHAIRS - This is our most recent project, recovering the kitchen chairs.  They were in serious need of a facelift.  This table was actually Dr. M's grandmother's.  We painted it years ago and added the blue seat covers, which are much too light for the kids!  The new fabric is actually outdoor upholstery fabric, so it should resist the messes of a two kids, for a while any way... 

DINING ROOM - This was probably the biggest change we've made in the house.  This room was not easy - so much paint, so much detail.  We actually painted the few days before we moved in (while Grandma W was here) because we had to use an oil-based primer that smelled terrible.  The french doors and bookshelves were very tedious.  This room took a LOT of work, but it was SO worth it!

ENTRY HALL - This was a pretty big undertaking as well.  We painted all the trim white and actually replaced all the doors in the living room and dinning room (3 total) from the original louvered doors to and updated 5 panel.  The change really brightened things and really updated the space.

LIVING ROOM -  Again, we painted the trim white and the walls a deep olive/grey color, which really made the fireplace and windows stand out and updated things.  The next big project on the list is crown molding in this room and the kitchen...which will look amazing!

Our "to do" list continues to have a list of projects though we're chipping away at it all the time.  Guess that's how homeownership goes.  Next on our list is crown molding, updating the guest room and bathroom, flooring in the basement and this fall we'll start some serious yard work (raised garden and herb garden, I can hardly wait)! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Party Time!

Last weekend we celebrated Harper's first birthday!  We had a small gathering of friends and neighbors over to the new house for sandwiches, cookies and outdoor games.  I made a light lunch of small sandwiches, chips, pretzels, veggies, fruits and lots of sweet treats.  I even made sugar cookies decorated with an "H" (like I did for E's bday) and we borrowed a bounce-house from a neighbor for the kids.  Everyone hung out back, played on the swing set, chatted, ate, jumped in the bounce-house and sang to the birthday girl.  Though she looooved the singing, she wasn't very interested in the cake.  She did, however, manage to get icing in her hair and all over the highchair, but hardly any went into her mouth.  After a quick bath and outfit change she was back in the middle of things enjoying all the company.  Our friend Megan was here visiting for the weekend, so she was a huge help with watching the kids and the set-up/clean-up of the party.  Overall, it was a great party and went over without any major snags.  It was great sharing the new house with everyone and I think Harper had a blast!

First Birthday Letter

Dearest Harper,
The past year has been such an amazing adventure and I'm so glad you were here with us for the ride.  You have completed our family, brought us such balance, made me smile every single day and brought SO much joy to all of us.  We feel truly blessed to have you in our lives.  I remember the day you arrived like it was yesterday; so sweet, so calm and so beautiful.  I love watching you learn new things and discover the world around you.  You have grown into such a beautiful little girl.  I love your strawberry blonde hair and the tight little curls at your neck, your amazing blue eyes and contagious smile.  I love your peaceful spirit and zest for life.  My favorite is when I get you up from a nap and you are so excited to see me that you smile, squeal and crawl around your bed.  I love the last nursing of the day when I go into your room before I go to bed and you're asleep; you're so warm and gentle.  Such a good sleeper too!  Your favorite foods right now are cheerios, strawberries and yogurt.  Your brother loves you (he really does) and you think he is the funniest thing in this house!  Your favorite game is "climb on dad" on the floor or couch.  You love your dada (it melts my heart).  I love listening to you babble continuously, in your own language to toys.  I love dressing you up in all the beautiful, girly clothes you have and even putting bows in your curly hair (until you realize they are there and pull them out).  I love your chubby little fingers and all 4 of those goofy little teeth!  You are the most amazing daughter a mom could ask for!  It's been an amazing 12 months with an amazing little girl.  Happy Birthday, baby girl.  
Love, Mom

Thursday, June 14, 2012

6 years of marital bliss!

It's been 6 years since that rainy, fun filled evening overlooking the Missouri river when Dr. M and I said "I do".  With wine in hand and friends and family near it was a very memorable night.  As I was unpacking our things at the new house I ran across our wedding album and sat for a moment reliving that weekend.  What a wonderful wedding.  This year on Dr. M's birthday we also celebrated the 10 year anniversary of our very first date!  Can't believe it's been 10 years.  Amazing how our lives have changed.  We have grown so much as individuals, as parents and as a couple.  I love that we continue to learn from each other and grow together.  To celebrate, we decided to spend an evening out for dessert and drinks, so we asked our neighbors teenage daughter to stay at the house while we were out (Dr. M even bought a cute new dress for me to wear).  We put H down for bed before we left but the sitter said she was more than happy to put E down on her own (what were we thinking?!).  Long story short, we had a wonderful evening together, but came home to a hyper 2-year-old and a very frazzled babysitter.  We may need to rethink our plans for next year...   

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Diggs Visit

Grandma and Grandpa Diggs spent last weekend with us.  It was a short, but sweet visit.  Having been almost 7 months since we've seen them (Thanksgiving) it was much needed.  I hope Grandpa got his fill of southern, fried and barbecued foods :)  They loved seeing the new house and we loved getting their advice on landscaping (they have amazing green thumbs).  It was so good just chatting with them.  I hope our visits aren't as far between in the future, they are truly missed by all of us.

New plants for the front porch (E helped!).

Bedtime stories with Grandpa are the best!

We sang happy birthday to H at lunch (before she dug into the whipped cream).  She and Grandma Diggs share the same birthday!

The new swing-set (Dr. M assembled it himself!)! Both kids LOVE it!

Hall Tree by Dr. M

Among many projects that we've done in the new house, this one has been the most creative and fun.  The new house doesn't really have a mud room but it does have a small area by the carport door for an organizer, like a hall-tree.  Dr. M was inspired by this one he found online...but as he built it and we pieced it together, it evolved into our own little version of the original.  We stuck with the bright, wild colors, but added some flair in other old door from our neighbors yard sale, upgraded, hooks and legs and a cute little shelf.  Dr. M did a beautiful job.  It's truly a work of art and will get lots of use in this house!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Memorial Day

We didn't do anything specifically for Memorial Day, but Grandma K came to visit and stayed the whole week!  We did all sorts of fun stuff during the week with Grandma...played out back, showed her the new house, went out to eat, had friends over, rearranged furniture, went over to a friends (to learn how to make Pad Thai) and even went into Birmingham to the Science Center!  It was a fun and very busy week.  Grandma K drove down, so she was able to bring my antique bed (the one I slept in as a kid) for E and a beautiful antique bench for the new house (plus, the minivan was the perfect way for all of us to get around while she was here - we neeeed one!).  E was so excited to have a big boy bed "like mama-dada bed".  He hopped right in, stretched his arms out and grinned from cheek to cheek.  Though getting him down for a nap or bedtime can be challenging, he's sleeping well in it.  Plus, it warms my heart to see my baby boy sleeping in the bed I had as a child and furniture being passed down a third generation.  I do have to admit, however, that the highlight of the whole week was probably our trip to the McWane Science Center in Birmingham!  It's an amazing three-story, huge, building of awesome science fun for kids of all ages!  We all had so much fun exploring the whole thing and can't wait to go back again.