Last week was the most beautiful week and this weekend was pretty close to perfection. Friday night, Ryan and I stayed in and watched Gone Girl. I had read the book, but Alec had been telling Ryan he needed to see the movie for forever, so we rented it and watched it. I thought it did a good job of staying close to the book, but Ryan thought it was a little predictable, but he liked it.
Saturday morning, we woke up and Ryan fixed the best breakfast. I’m currently doing to food portion of 7 and this was one of the best meals I’ve had during it. I will say that it helps having a spouse that likes to experiment in the kitchen.
After breakfast, we took Jolene to Sweetwater Park for a hike. It was so beautiful. A little chilly when we started off, but we were soon taking off layers. And Jolene LOVED it. We will definitely have to go back more. It was only 30 minutes from us and $5 a car to get in.
After our hike, we ran some errands around town and just hung out at the house waiting on Ryan’s basketball game. I was a teensy bit sad that I missed National Readathon Day but it was just too nice to stay inside alone. I will make it up one day.
Yesterday, we went to church and Sunday School and then Ryan and Ross headed to Greensboro to bring the pool table up here. Ryan has been working on the basement and this was part of it. It was a little scary watching them and Daddy take those huge pieces of slate downstairs, but they did it! Now we just need to have someone come and put it back together and refelt it and we will be in business!
We ended the weekend at Clay’s with Pease and Ross and an early bedtime. I was definitely sad to see this weekend end.
Our first Christmas in our house! Crazy! I didn’t do a ton of decorating, because we just don’t have a ton of stuff to decorate. But I did do the big stuff- wreath, mantle, tree. Along with a few other things like towels in the bathroom. Mama used to do stuff like that and it just made me happy. My new thing I want is Christmas china. Maybe one day.
The only thing we did outside was a wreath. Next year, we’re going to have to step up our exterior game because it looks so dark and dreary at night. But I love our live wreath and I even like the bow I made for it, although it probably needs to be bigger.
Our TV unit has this connecting piece that we’ve been procrastinating doing. Ryan didn’t think he would like it and I thought we were going to have to take everything down to put it all together. However, I knew I wanted to use it like a mantle because we don’t have a fireplace, so it forced us to do it. And it wasn’t as hard to put together as I thought and Ryan really likes it. We should have done it months ago. Oh, well.
But like I said, I’m using this as our mantle. It’s not ideal because it’s deeper than a regular mantle, but it works. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.
Trees are just impossible to take pictures of. They never look as pretty as they do in real life. This year, I layered regular lights with bigger, outdoor lights and I love how it turned out. I’m of a heritage that believes you can never have too many lights on a tree.
I didn’t have tags when I bought this tree, so I used post-its for now. Classy, I know. I do try to coordinate all of my wrapping. I’ve bought so much after Christmas at Target for 75% off that I’m never going to run out. And the cords are a mess, I know. Type B+ over here- lights are perfect, but the cords are a disaster.
This little vignette on the dining table is probably my favorite part of the entire house. Love the old ornaments, those tumbling Santas that were Mimi’s, that little reindeer in my Christmas cactus, the whole thing.
We hung our Christmas cards in the window of the kitchen. I love how it looks, but it’s impossible to take a picture of. And we’ve already gotten more since I took this picture. I may need to add an extra string below.
And that concludes our little house tour! Y’all come back, now, ya hear?
A few weeks ago, I got tired of our yard looking like this:
So I went outside with the loppers and went to town on the bushes.
Actually, I did the first two and Ryan did the rest. I was going slow and neat and Ryan just went nuts and got it done.
I mean, it’s not new landscaping, but it’s better.
We also worked on getting rid of the ivy on our dogwoods. The ivy in our yard is insane and if it kills those dogwoods, I’ll cry. So Ryan cut it off at the base to try and kill it and it worked!
So it finally died and I pulled off what I could reach. I couldn’t reach the top, but I got most of it. Hallelujah! Our friend Jay is an arborist and he said it will probably take about a year for us to be able to tell, but I’ll take it, if it saves my tree. It looks sooo much skinnier now!
Also, I need to mention this. My Dawgs lost to OBC this weekend. It was terrible and we played terribly and it just sucked. Marshall Morgan missed a FG that would have tied the game, and I saw some idiots blaming him on twitter. However, we had some bad calls and I can’t even count how many times S. Carolina just dumped a pass over the middle, the guy was wide open and got 15-20 yards, plus lots of other things. It was pitiful and heartbreaking. But, it’s a new week and we have a new opponent on Saturday.
AND the Miss America pageant was on TV last night and Ryan was the best and watched with me. By far, the best talent was Miss Ohio with a ventriloquist doll singing Supercalifragilisticexpealidosous and she was robbed. As Ryan said, at least her talent was unique. Miss New York won singing Happy and doing the cups thing. Which was fine, but just surprising that she won. Oh, well.
1. On Monday morning, Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-fil-A, passed away. He was 93. It’s hard to be too sad when someone has lived as long and as full of a life as he did and we know he is with Jesus, but I know he will be so missed by his family, friends, and those who worked with him. He left an amazing legacy with just a simple chicken sandwich. So on Wednesday, Ryan and I drove thru for an Ice Dream cone for him and a sundae for me. It was delicious. Thanks for everything, Truett.
2. Jolene had her temperament test at doggie daycare on Monday and passed with flying colors. She was so exhausted Monday night she could barely keep her head up. Of course, they have a webcam so I spent some of the day watching her. It was so cute. Monday was also my first full Monday to work. I used to go in some Mondays and come and go as I pleased. No more. It was weird, but good. She looked so little in this big bed. She knows where the comfy spot is.
3. The Dawgs play OBC and South Carolina tomorrow in Columbia. I’m nervous, even though S. Carolina hasn’t shown us too much so far. Several people are predicting Georgia in the final tournament, but give me a break. We’ve only played one game. We’ve got a long season ahead of us. I’ve been a Dawg fan too long to get my hopes up like that.
4. This has been one of the lowest key weeks for us in a while. Ryan and I have both been home every night and it’s been nice. Yesterday was the 13th anniversary of 9/11 and we watched the Smithsonian channel’s documentary on it. The people they get on those are amazing- Laura Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick and Lynn Cheney, reporters that were on the plane with the President, his chief of staff. I love that they are doing so much to preserve our history, the good and the bad. Ryan even commented that there were two football games on and we were watching it, that’s how good it was.
5. We FINALLY got our living room and dining room painted yesterday, along with the kitchen ceiling and back door. As soon as I get everything put back on the walls and cleaned up, I’ll take some pictures and post them. But it looks SO much better! It’s just amazing what a coat of paint will do. This is what it looked like when I left for work yesterday morning.
6. Well, I was only going to do 5 things, but then I remembered a sixth! And I can’t believe I forgot this one! Yes, William and Kate announced baby #2 is on the way! So excited and I hope this one will be a girl. I read this week that Diana once mentioned that Charles always wanted a daughter. I’m sure he thinks of Kate as a daughter and Camilla has granddaughters, but how precious would William be with a little girl? And I’m quite sure she would be dressed impeccably.
7. And then I remembered another. I feel like I was in a reading slump most of summer, but I finally abandoned the book I was stuck on and am back at it in full force. It’s amazing the difference a good book makes. I flew threw Insurgent and now I’m reading The Nesting Place and Rebecca loaned me The Language of Flowers and so many people told me they loved it, so I’m excited to see what it’s about. Not much beats a good book.
It’s a pretty widely-known fact (superstition?) that bad things come in 3s. And Monday, we had all 3 knocked out by 10:30. Yes, A.M.
It all started when Ryan woke up and decided to take a shower. And we had no hot water. At all. We knew from the inspection that the water heater was old and would need to be replaced in the next “year or two.” I guess that timeline got bumped up quite a bit. So Ryan tinkered around with it and started draining it into a pipe outside of the basement to keep it from leaking all over the place. He told me to check it every once in a while to see if it was still draining.
Then he got in his car to go to work and his car wouldn’t crank. Lovely. We figured it was a dead battery, but he was already running behind, so I told him just to take my car and we’d figure it out later.
The oven guy showed up shortly after that to fix our oven! Yay! We’ve been without one for several months now and after figuring out that the flipping part never got ordered, we were back in business. It took the guy all of 15 minutes to replace the part and we were good to go! I am so ready to bake all the things!
A few hours later, I took Jolene out and went down to check the basement. And there was about a half-inch of water covering the basement floor. Apparently, the water heater was draining too fast for the pipe and it leaked back into the basement. So of course, I groaned a lot and turned off the water heater faucet and used every single towel we own (that I had just washed Sunday, btw) to sop it up.
Fortunately, my cousin Alan lives super close by and works from home on Mondays. He was able to run by and bring me his shop-vac and help me wring all of the towels out. He also confirmed that Ryan needed a new car battery. I was so thankful to have family close by in that moment.
The guy that came to look at the water heater confirmed that we would need a new one. Fortunately, the new heater and labor would be covered by our home insurance. Unfortunately, to bring it up to code would not be. Alan said yesterday that when you are renting, things cost 100s of dollars, but when you own, things cost 1000s of dollars. Pretty much. There goes my new gameday outfit for Clemson.
While all of this was going on, however, this post from Momastery kept flashing through my head. So while yes, Monday stunk, I just kept thinking, at least we have a car to replace the battery for, we have access to hot water very easily while others don’t even have water at all, we have savings to cover these repairs.
After all of this went down, I found a minute to hang up a wedding picture that I had printed. It’s one of my favorites from the wedding. Yes, it’s beautiful, but it’s also so symbolic of life. Ryan and I are going together, arms around each other, both helping the other in some way, being shielded from the “rain” of life. Cheesy, maybe. But true.
Life is good. Not all of it, but most.
A few weeks ago, Ryan braved Ikea to pick up some furniture for the house. The biggest thing was the bookcase/entertainment center for the living room. We went back and forth between the Billy set and the Hemnes set but ultimately went with the Hemnes because it’s a little nicer looking, even though it was more expensive.
You can somewhat see in this before picture to the left of the TV was the security alarm. I knew I wanted to do these bookshelves and the alarm was almost in the middle of the wall, so I had them move it to the other side of the closet door.
We just had the TV sitting on the coffee table from our apartment. You can also see the huge hole left from where the alarm was. Once the room gets painted, it will be patched, but you already can’t see it with the bookcases in front of it. I didn’t take any pictures of the building process. I generally like putting together Ikea furniture- it’s like a puzzle. There was one tiny mess-up that I made though, when I put one piece in the wrong spot and it made everything wrong. So my sweet husband took it apart and re-did it. However, I got it right on the second bookshelf. ;)
So far, we love them. There is one more piece that will go across the top to bridge the two bookcases, but we are waiting on the room to be painted before we do that.
It still needs more “styling,” but we love it so far. I also want to do some art above the whole thing and a few other funky pieces, but it’s definitely getting there.
We also picked up this buffet to go in the kitchen. It’s got some extra storage, but mostly it fills in this space. The people before us had a little breakfast table in there, but the dining room is literally two steps away, so it seemed a little silly to me to have two dining tables so close to each other, especially because our dining room is really casual.
This fills in the space perfectly. I do want to adjust the shelf to make it a little easier to put the toaster down there. (It’s just kind of wedged in there right now and two of the legs are falling through, making it crooked.) And I had to have that little tail in there. So stinkin cute. I also took down that valence the day we moved in. It’s silly. It blocked half the window and looks so much more open now.
We are slowly, but surely making some changes around here. It’s feeling like home.
Of course, having this smiling face greet us when we walk in the door makes it that much more. She’s the best.
Our front yard looks a tad… neglected. And the truth is, I think it was. Ryan cuts the grass regularly, but we moved in during a time that we have to wait to make any big changes. For both the season to change and our bank account to change. As in go up. Obviously.
However, the other night, I did go out and cut the ivy at the base of the dogwoods. I’m hoping that will kill it and we can just pull it down. My poor, beautiful dogwoods.
I’m also dying to cut back these huge bushes in front of the house and add a defined border. And put in new stuff, but for now, I just want to cut them back so they don’t cover half the house. It will feel a lot more open when they are gone. However, I think I have to wait until at least fall to cut them back, otherwise they will get diseases. Although I don’t want them out there anyway, so that might be ok if they just die. I also want to get rid of that big holly bush at the corner of the house.
As for this little bed, I have no idea what I want to do there. I’m not so crazy about those dwarf boxwoods, because I’d rather it be more open. And the half-dead liriope is also gross, but I have to wait to cut that back also. I do know that I want to put pavers or bricks on the walkway. Peat gravel is impossible to walk on with heels. Plus, it looks a little messy.
The one thing we did do that makes me ecstatic is we got an American flag hung. Let me just tell you. I have dreamed of this day for practically my whole life. And it finally came true.
Just in time for the 4th.
Okay gardeners. I need some advise. What should we do to make it look better? Truthfully, I almost care more about what the outside of the house looks like than the inside. A lot more people see the outside, after all.