Sunday, November 29, 2009

typical greg moment #584 - Lost Rolls of Stamps

I asked Greg to get a roll of stamps at the post office.

He came back with FOUR rolls around his fingers as rings.

Greg: I've got stamps!!!!

Me: FOUR ROLLS?!?! I only asked for one!!!

Greg: It's not like we won't use them.

At this point, I had done the math and figured out it was $176 in stamps. It goes against the very core of my being to spend more money on something than is necessary at the time. And, it goes against the core of my core to give more money to a government organization than is necessary at any time.

The next day, I had a few things to mail and I walked over to the stamp drawer to find this:



No stamps.

Not only were there no stamps, there was not even one roll of the four.

I immediately called Greg and asked him where the stamps were.

Greg: They're in the stamp drawer.

Me: No they're not.

Greg: Yes they are.

Me: Do you want me to send you a picture? Where did you put them?

Greg: Check your desk drawer


Me: Nope.

Greg: Check the container on my desk.

(no judging here. he absolutely loves his barn-door-on-sawhorses-rigged-desk.)

(but you can judge the Ironmind egg-shaped hand-exerciser thingie. I judge him constantly for that and it doesn't seem to bother him.)


Me: Nope not there either. I'll look around.

The following 23 minutes were spent turning the place upside down looking for the stamps.
I know it doesn't seem like a long time, but if you've ever fervently searched for something, you know 23 minutes is a long time.

Still there were no stamps to be found.

My envelopes would have to wait. I was not about to go buy another roll of stamps when I knew there were 4 somewhere.

That night, I pestered Greg until he went through all his pants pockets, and all his jacket pockets, and his backpack, and even his carhart vest pocket (his new favorite outerwear....he even tried to wear it to the movies the other night and I strongly prohibited it. Just because we have a farm doesn't mean we have to dress like it.)

Still no stamps.

The next day, I searched again. I searched high and low and even commissioned some help from Lorie.

Still no stamps.

I asked Greg to retrace his steps.

Me: Greg, you walked in and said, "I have stamps!!!!" Then I said, "FOUR ROLLS?!?!?! I only asked for one!!!" Then, what did you do next?

Greg: With me, there's no telling. (the understatement of the year)

Me: Greg, it's $200 in stamps (okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but not far off). Think please.

Greg: I can't.

Me: What do you mean you can't? You can't remember what you do each day? Just forget it.

Time passes that day and still no stamps.

Then, I walk upstairs and see this:


It may look like two baskets in a chair to you, but to me a beacon from heaven was shining upon it.

At that moment, I remembered the same day Greg bought the stamps, he went up to the house to get the baskets out so they wouldn't become dusty when the wood floors were sanded.


And they promptly went back to where they belonged.


And, the world was restored to order.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

thanksgiving can be fun and scary

When I first arrived in Paducah for Thanksgiving at Greg's grandparents, I saw this on the table.


And, I felt like I was here:

I was a little worried.....

But, it turned out just fine. A few minutes later, the squash casserole, turkey, potatoes, and dressing emerged from the oven and we ate at this table.

No, wait.

Greg and I didn't eat at that table. That was the grown-up table.

We ate at the kid table, then we had to work off our dinner:



Yes, that's Greg in an apron and it took him exactly an hour to do all the dishes.

His grandparents have a dishwasher, but they never have used it.

Such strange people they are.

But, it gave me the opportunity to show what a wonderful husband I have.

Ladies, I have proof. So, you may say you have the best husband, but my picture says it all.

While we cleaned, the grown-ups visited in the living room (sorry for all the wonky angles of my photos, it was a tiny dark room so I had to use my 50mm 1.4 to get good light)


Then, we opened gifts. Well, not us. Greg's grandparents, but Greg found this book particularly amusing.


He already wants me to be the Pioneer Woman, so I'm getting a little worried.....

And Ted Turner showed us his wood-burning skillz. (Don't you think it's funny when a real person has the name of a celebrity?)

He has mad skillz :)

We were all impressed because in all the years we've know him, we thought all he did was pheasant-hunt. Who knew?


And of course everyone (but me) had photos to show. So we oooohed and ahhhhed at them.


And, the only photo taken of me the whole day was this one. Just to prove I was there.



And to prove that although Greg is a wonderful husband, I am a wonderful wife, albeit not the Pioneer Woman.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

thankful


There's so many directions to take a post on Thanksgiving Day. I debated listing the things I am thankful for or talking about how the holiday is different this year because I'm in an apartment and can't cook or have company stay. I've thought about a lot of things I could mention, but decided to focus this post instead on my feelings at this time.

It's funny how at some times we want time to speed by and at other times we want it to slow down. Three months ago, I was really looking forward to Thanksgiving. I was thinking about how I would know by now the sex of the baby I was pregnant with, I'd definitely be looking pregnant, and I surely would be feeling the baby move around. I was wanting the time to slow a bit so I could really enjoy my first pregnancy.

Now, I couldn't be more different. I'm definitely in the "speed-by" stage. After the miscarriage, I have wanted the time to pass quickly. I've been counting the days and hoping the holidays fly by. Part of that has to do with not having a house to decorate or a kitchen to speak of that I could cook a decent meal. But, mostly, it has to do with counting down the days until we can start the next round of fertility treatment.

I fill my days with work, work, and more work. I always find something to do. Whether it's spending more time thinking about and managing Studio Calico, or perusing the internet and retailers for home ideas and resources for the remodel, I'm constantly busy. My hands are going or my mind is going, or both are going 99.9% of the day. I stay busy.

But at the end of the day, even though I've filled my mind with the cares of the day, there's still that 0.01% that's thinking about fertility. What can we do to prevent a miscarriage again? What could we change in the next cycle of treatment to achieve a better result? How are we going to pay for the treatment? Did I check the temperature in the fridge to make sure my injectibles are stored at the correct temperature? Am I going to be the case that is puzzling to the doctors? What is our next step if this cycle fails?

The one thing that has never crossed my mind is how I will deal with another failure. I've never once worried about my mental health throughout the ups and downs of this process.

That is what I am thankful for this year.

I'm thankful that I have a faith in God. I'm thankful that I have Him to take my concerns to. I'm thankful that my husband shares that faith and that we can go to God together in prayer. I'm thankful that I have parents who taught me that faith. I'm thankful that I have friends who have developed that faith and helped to keep me strong. It's not a faith that thinks that everything always will turn out the way I want it to. Rather, it's a faith that knows that everything will happen according to God's plan.

I'm thankful for what I've learned. I've learned so much about infertility from a medical standpoint, and because of such, I've been able to help others. I've learned so much about my husband and how we communicate with one another. I've learned so much about child-training and have been blessed with additional time (more than 9 months) to prepare for that. I've learned that I'm not in control.

I'm thankful for the resources I have. I'm thankful that I have a supportive husband who wants to go to doctor visits with me and wants to spend money to have a child. I'm thankful I don't have to overcome barriers within my family to seek treatment. I'm thankful I developed a friendship with my nurse who has helped answer my questions, give me advice, and give me something to look forward to. I'm thankful for the Christians who I work with who don't make me feel guilty for skipping out on work when I can't lift objects over 10 lbs or when I have to go to the doctor 5 times a week.

I have a lot to be thankful for. Everyone does. No matter what your situation in life. No matter how bad things seem to be. No matter what you don't have control over. No matter what, we all can look for the best in any situation.

And, even if we want our situation to speed by, we can be thankful for it anyway, right?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

natalee at the farm

Combine the fact that I'm running out of photos to scrapbook with Lorie needing to make a calendar for her mom for Christmas, and you have the perfect opportunity to take photos of Natalee.

Lorie brought her out to the farm one morning and we had so much fun. There's lots to do when you're two at the farm:

  • Pick up rocks and move them multiple times to different places
  • Watch the dogs chase a rabbit
  • Roll wooden spools down homemade ramps
  • Ride on the dolly
  • Smile for photos and generally look cute






Monday, November 23, 2009

"One for the Beaver"


My dad walked into the barn the other night and said, "One for the beaver" then turned around and we saw a 10" rip in his jeans with some undies peeking out.

You see, since clearing out the bottom land at the farm, he's discovered a beaver dam in the little creek that runs along the north side of the property. He's been obsessed with clearing that dam so the water doesn't back up and flood our land. Every day, he puts a rake in the back of the side-by-side and drives out to the dam and breaks it up. Every night, the beaver builds the dam back up so dad can go out the next day and tear it down.

It's quite entertaining, actually.

On a side note, I was happy to repair dad's jeans that night. I said, "Go in the bathroom and throw me your jeans and I'll fix them on my sewing machine." I was feeling extremely domestic at the time. I bought the machine about 4 months ago and I've gone through 3 spools of thread, but never made a stitch on fabric, just paper. I was surprised it worked on fabric so well! I fixed his pants right up. He was even able to wear them home.

And, when we got home, I got a lesson on beavers from National Geographic.
  • They're 2nd to man in their ability to manipulate their environment.
  • They mate for life and send their kids out after 2 years.
  • They only eat vegetation
  • They're nocturnal
It's amazing what you learn living on a farm.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

cabinets are here!!!!

I have finally gotten a chance to read through all the comments from the Home Front giveaway and first I would like to say, YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!! That's the most comments I've ever gotten. I must admit, most of your comments were very encouraging about the remodel process, but there were a few of you (and you know who you are ;) who really told it like it was!

In the end, I know I will love my house and I know that we will never tackle a remodel job like this ever again, so I can make it through.

We're getting closer and closer to finishing the job. Our cabinets were delivered and installed this week. I took some photos as they were being put in, so some cabinets are in place and some aren't.

Below is one of the upper kitchen cabinets sitting next to our chimney. This is one of only 2 upper cabinets we have in the kitchen as we opted for more windows and less cabinets. I may regret that decision later, but now, I'm loving all the natural light.


Don't get too attached to the color here in the scrapbook room. It turned out MUCH lighter in this photo than it actually is. I'm actually wanting it to look like this photo as opposed to the HOLY-MOLY-THAT'S-A-BLUE-ROOM color that it currently is.

In this room, there are two shelves/cabinets. One just like this on either side of the door. I see lots of scrapbook albums sitting here in the future :)


And here's the surprise runaway in best cabinet finish. We took a MAJOR chance on the finish on these cabinets and thankfully, it worked. I showed a magazine page to the folks at Creative Custom Cabinets in Russellville, KY. The cabinets were pine and had a brownish finish on them. My challenge was that I didn't want pine because it's so soft, but I did want the look of the page in the magazine. Dorothy, the girl at the cabinet shop, pulled a sample off the wall and turned it on the back side and said, "This is alder, I think it'll give you the look you want." Just so you know, I am a wonderful client to work with...just ask anyone we've ever hired. (I'm not just tooting my own horn, I really have the philosophy that you should just let people who you know do a good job, actually do their job and not be a hindrance.) So, needless to say, I went with the alder and just put a clear coat on it and look how gorgeous they are.

They are so pretty that one of the guys installing them asked me, "Was this your idea for these cabinets? We ain't never done nothing like this before, but I like it." This was said in a strong country accent and like sounded more like "lick", but I felt it was a huge compliment, so I ran with it.

I'm especially proud of how they look with those 12x24" white tiles.


Moving upstairs, this was another idea I had that looked great in my head and I wasn't entirely sure it would translate well in real life.

Thankfully, they guys at the cabinet shop had the same vision as I and it turned out well. On the upstairs landing, originally there was a wall with an attic. All we did was knock out the wall and put a bookcase on the left of the chimney and a desk area on the right.



I see this area being used quite a bit in the near future. Even Greg is thrilled with how it looks.
It's always nice when you can impress your hubby with a good idea.

And, last, I'll leave you with a photo of the Jetster enjoying our new floors.
This week, the guys will be back to sand and stain the floors, so it'll be a week or so before I can post photos of that.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Home Front Blog Hop winner

LotsToScrap said...

Totally worth it!!! I loved having done the work ourselves. We moved away 12 years ago and just this year I made a big 12x12 chipboard tribute album for that house! So, enjoy~

November 16, 2009 2:10 AM

Congratulations!!! Please send me an email april@studiocalico.com to claim your prize.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

my home front

I'm kind of homeless right now, since Greg and I are remodeling a farmhouse that sits on 80 green acres in south-central Kentucky. The land is beautiful and peaceful and I'm hoping the house will be one day as well. Right now, it's full of the raucous of nail guns, air compressors, and loud music as the construction workers hack away at the old and bring in the new.

The one aspect of our home that's been given the most attention so far is our floors. Almost the entire house is now covered in beech, which was reclaimed from a tobacco barn in Horse Cave, Kentucky. I love that the wood shows history with the old nail-holes and wide planks. Greg loves the grain and the different look each board has. He's been so particular about the placement of his "cool boards" to make sure they're in prominent places for all to see.

I think what makes me most happy about these floors is that they'll be there for as long as we live in the house (which is where we will stay until we move into an old folks home). The paint on the walls might change over time, but these floors are here to stay. We'll eat lots of holiday meals on top of these floors, have lots of friends and family walk over them throughout the years, have the dogs chase the laser light over these floors, and hopefully have children to crawl over them as well. So, right now, these floors represent home to me.


All this talk about home, and I almost forgot the reason you're here. Below is a layout I made using the Home Front collection by Studio Calico. I love that it mixed so easily with the holiday line by Basic Grey. I hadn't intended on doing a holiday layout with the Home Front line, but in the end, I love how the colors turned out and how it looks slightly like a Christmas page without screaming it.



You might be guessing not that the reason I'm not ready for the holidays is because my house is not ready, and you'd be correct in that assumption. heehee.



To create this layout, I cut large rectangle from the 3 patterned papers I chose. Then, I randomly punched circles with my favorite large circle punch by Marvy. Next, I added the journaling and stitched around the outside of each rectangle. Last, I added the embellishments.

Now it's your turn:

Studio Calico is sharing part of their home with you by sponsoring a giveaway of their brand new line, Home Front. Imagine June Cleaver styled 1950s domestic bliss. Featuring optimistic colors and smooth vintage inspired patterns. You’ll find fresh stained wood grain, retro home d├ęcor, an exclusive SC cardstock alpha set, and much more. Home Front is versatile, colorful, and beautiful (can we say that?)….I think you’ll love it.



To win this collection, simply leave a comment on this post letting me know if you've ever remodeled a house and if it was worth it in the end.

To increase your chances of winning this fabulous collection, visit the rest of the design team below.

Celine Navarro

Davinie Fiero
Emily Pitts
Jenn Olson
Joy Madison
Kelly Noel
Lisa Truesdell
Maggie Holmes
Nicole Samuels
Nicole Harper
Stephanie Howell
Tina Aszmus

Winner will be announced Wednesday morning.


This collection is available at many online stores (stopandscrap, amillionlittlethings, and 2peas are the ones I know of off the top of my head) and maybe even your local scrapbook store (if not, there is no minimum order so please ask them to order it).

Saturday, November 14, 2009

sneak peek

Some things that inspired me when making my layouts this month:
  • Calendars. In this kit, there are some many calendar items: the stamp in the Percussion add-on, the calendar spots in the main kit, the months stamps, and the calendar paper by SC, I just had to use as many as possible. What I love about calendar embellishments is that it's okay to use them any time of the year and on any type of layout. I know lots of scrappers who date every layout (I'm not one of them, but I could easily become one). This is the perfect month for those type of scrappers at Studio Calico.
  • Non-Holiday layouts with holiday-themed items. This month, I challenged myself to create all my layouts without a true holiday theme. So far, I'm doing well. I have one layout about Greg and my love for him. Another about the joy I hope to have in the future, and another about my friendship with Cara. Maybe I'll end up with a holiday layout in the end, but for now, I'm loving the challenge.
  • Buttons. In the past, I've not been much of a button user at all -- especially big buttons (they're scary). But, this kit has a whole slew of them in the main kit so I'm trying to use them up. I've used buttons on 2 layouts so far and the earth has not frozen over yet, so I think I might continue using them in the future. Don't know what I was so scared of.
And, now, my sneaks:

This layout was made using the main kit plus the STRINGS add-on. The only items from the main are one sheet of paper and the calendar spot by Elle's Studio. You can also see a glimpse of what I believe will be a VERY popular stamp set.

All items in this sneak are from the main kit. I must admit, this kit has definitely challenged me, but I've loved every minute of it. One such challenge was the printed canvas by Donna Downey. I cut it up and sewed and sewed and I'm actually happy with the result. Fun stuff.

Lastly, this is my favorite layout this month. All the items here are from the main kit and the PERCUSSION add-on. I added some lime, blue raspberry and turquoise mist. And, I used my Claudine Hellmuth blank canvas paint on this layout as well....can't wait to show you this one. It will be a favorite of mine for a long time.

That's it for now. Be sure to leave me a comment if you have any questions.

Monday, November 2, 2009

house update

It's been awhile since I posted updates on the remodel mainly because progress has been steadily at the pace of a turtle. We've had sooooooooooooooooooooooooo much rain, but still, lots of the work is indoors, so that excuse is pretty much lame.

The main change to the front of the house is the dormer. Before, the house had a Cape-Cod look with 3 dormers. We combined the 3 into one, which really gave us more space upstairs plus I like this look so much.

It's hard to see from this photo, but I got my cedar shakes. They are so pretty. The lumber guy tried to talk us into hardee shakes (the same cast material as the siding), but I wasn't going for it. I wanted cedar all the way.

Also hard to see from this photo is the metal roof on the dormer. Boy, we went round and round on that decision. Lots of talk about standing seam vs. screw on.... Lots of money difference between the two as well. We ended up going with screw on because we found a roofer who would guarantee it not to leak. There's advantages to the standing seam, but for us, it just wasn't worth the cost. If you have any questions about it, I'm competently educated on the matter so feel free to ask in the comments section below.


This is the left side of the house. We changed the windows in the kitchen (the row of 4 on the left) and added some in the laundry room (the 2 on the right). In all, I'm very happy with our window exchange. Originally, we didn't think we'd have to replace the windows, but so many of them had broken seals and likely the ones without the broken seals were soon to follow, so we took the plunge with these casement windows by Sun. They offered a huge deal, and we were happy to help them out with a sale.


This is the right side of the house. See how we bumped out the master bath and added a window (actually we added 2 windows, but the other isn't visible from this angle).

You can also see the painting in progress here and the beautiful maple tree (I'm right, right? It is maple?).


This was also taken from the right side of the house. Just another view that shows the back porch and the area we added next to the garage. The wood door you see and small window are the mud-room and a bathroom that's extremely accessible to the outdoors. I think that will come in handy for sure!


Another rear-view shot. The smaller windows in the corner of the house and garage are the breakfast area. We're going to have a banquette there. Already, I'm loving the light in there.


The last outdoor shot, I wanted to show you our paint colors and stonework. So happy to replace plastic lattice and concrete blocks with this stone. Who cares if it's fake stick-on stone? It's better than plastic lattice, right?

Don't rain on my parade, okay. I like the look.


This photo is of the breakfast area into the kitchen. I totally spooked G when I took this photo. He was listening to his iPod and cleaning and all of a sudden, there I was with the flash going off. LOVE scaring him!


Here's my kitchen after the plugs on the chimney were moved to the appropriate place. Man, you wouldn't think you have to sit on top of bricklayers and tell them where to put each brick, but apparently with ours, I had to. They were there to fix the fireplace (remember the drywall-stuck-to-mortar-mold-issue?). They took off all the drywall and added another layer of brick to even it up a bit. To keep with code, we had to put outlets in the wall (silly government rules), since it was part of the kitchen, so I told them to put these outlets the same height as the others in the room. Seems logical, right? Well, not so much. When we came back on Saturday to check out their work, they had placed the outlets two full bricks higher than the other outlets in the room. Oh my! It looked so odd. Luckily, they came back on Sunday and fixed it, so I could sleep that night and not worry about it any more.


I finally like my entry. Instead of the solid door, I have light coming in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Plus, the walls/columns are equi-distance from the front door. My mind is so symmetrical, that having an off-center door, just isn't a good thing.


Here's another shot of the dining and entry way. You can see the wall is gone, so the area looks so much more open. I'm loving it already!

At the end of the hall, in between the kitchen and dining room, is my laundry room. Ah....so much light! We have some real interesting tile planned for here. I can't wait to show you!


Now to the master bath. You can see the two windows we added. The clawfoot tub will sit in between them. Then on the right where the purple board is, will be our shower.


Another shot of where the tub will sit. Right now it's in a crate in the garage, just waiting for it's new home.


A shot of the sink area in the master bath. We'll have his & her's sinks on opposite sides. Then, the toilet will be behind the doorway that you see there.

Friends...Let me tell you. If you want a happy marriage, you need a toilet behind a door in your master bath. Just trust me.


Now a shot of what you see when you enter the bath from the master bedroom. Straight ahead is the closet. To the left is the tub and shower. To the right are the sinks and toilet.


I'm omitting showing you the bedrooms, because frankly at this stage, they just look boring. So, onto the upstairs guest bath (the hall bath upstairs was too dark to photograph).

Here's the sink area. I have something special going here. Oh, and the tile. Just wait till you see the tile. This was the only real area I splurged with tile and it's the perfect spot to do it in. It's the guest bath, so it will look nice and impress the guests. AND, it's the smallest bathroom in the house, so it justified the per-foot-price.


The black hole on the right is where the shower will be and next to the window is the sink area you see above.


This room was a bedroom with 2 dormers. Opening it up made it big enough to become a TV and game room. I can tell this will be one of the most used rooms in the house.


The only thing I don't like about the room is there's only one way to arrange the furniture and it looks like I'm going to have to get a sectional. I don't necessarily mind sectionals, but I don't like being forced into getting one either. Oh well. Lots of people have it much worse than I, right?


This is one of my favorite areas of the house. Before this landing at the top of the stairs was a very narrow walkway with an attic on the left. We decided to knock out the wall and open it up a bit and make the space more usable. You can see the exposed chimney and a support post in front of it (boy would I have liked it so much better if we didn't have that, but it would have cost a whole lot more money to remove it, plus we would have had to cut a hole in the side of the house to bring it in.). Anyway, a book case will go in the in-between spot and a desk to the right with 2 places to sit.


To the left of the chimney will be a bookcase and magazine rack. I'm super-excited about that.


Well, I've shown you the most interesting places in the house so far. Let me know what you think.