Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas at my house

So, I've decorated for real for Christmas for the first time in our marriage.
Yes, we're coming up on a five year anniversary, why do you ask?

But I love it.

These pictures were taken back in November before Thanksgiving.
I've added a bit more that I think should be photographed and shown, but I just don't have the gumption to get off my growing derriere to do so.

So without further ado, Christmas at my house, 2010.

I actually made this gingerbread house (my first ever) for a decorative table centerpiece for a church function.
I'm happy with how it turned out.

Here's a picture of me showing the front of the house at the friend's home that we decorated them at.
This craft was so up my alley, I love making houses.

I got 25' of garland at Costco for $15.
I love it too.

But what makes me the happiest is to have a tree.
It's so purty.  Especially at night.

I get to see it again in the mirror every time I walk past.

I love Christmas time.

Monday, November 22, 2010

New Dining Room Chairs

So, maybe you've noticed that while we got a beautiful new dining room table back in February we have been eating at folding chairs around that table since we sold our old dining set on craigslist.

Well, this month we remedied that.

Enter 6 awesome solid hardwood carved chairs found on craigslist for $175.

Two of them have arms...

...and the other four do not.

They were a beautiful cherry stain...

but so is everything in our entire kitchen, and I'm not a huge matchy matchy fan.
So I did what I do and painted them.
Sacrilege, I know, to paint something that was beautiful already and not all nasty.

First I unscrewed and took off the seat cushions.
Then I lightly sanded the chairs down with a fine grit sand paper, just enough to take some of the shiny off and to give the paint something to grab onto.

Then I wiped them down with a slightly damp paper towel.
I made sure to get rid of all of the dust as I didn't want that to get into the paint.

I used this awesome paint.
It is Sherwin Williams ProClassic, a paint for furniture and trim and stuff like that.
It's expensive stuff, but I have them send me emails when they have sales, so I was able to get a quart for just over $10 (40% off it's regular price).
To me it's worth it because it goes on so smooth.
This project took less than 1/3 of that quart.

I only did one even coat, being mindful to have my brush strokes go with the grain when I could...

 ...but that's because I wanted the cherry stain to show through slightly... hopefully complement the finish on the table...

I love how they turned out.
And I love love love the price, considering we got all six chairs and the supplies to redo them for less than one of the chairs that are made to go as a set with the table.

What do you think?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Why Michigan?

This week, I had another reminder of why I chose to attend the University of Michigan for my MBA. I was fortunate enough to attend a live meeting with Jeff Immelt and Beth Comstock, CEO and CMO of General Electric. In the past year, I have also attended similar meetings with Charlie Munger vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, and Richard Ward, CEO of Lloyd's of London. I'm grateful for these types of opportunities.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

My Silly Wife

Carmen has been making a lot of gingerbread lately. Check out a picture of one of her latest creations.

I believe that the plan for these stars with 'stained glass' (crushed and then melted jolly ranchers) is to act as Christmas ornaments. This explains why each one has a small hole at the top.

How did that hole get there? That's the part that made me laugh...check out what else I found in the kitchen tonight...

Yep...those are gingerbread crumbs on the end of a drill bit of her cordless drill. Maybe this is how everyone else would do it (I sort of doubt it, but I can't really think of another way to do it), but I still got a kick out of seeing Carmen's 'kitchen tools'.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Nursery: Dressers

So, when our friends Priscilla and Oliver were moving away they gave us two IKEA dressers.
You can see the before shots in this post...

Aw heck, I'll post them again...


Then I painted them creme and lightly distressed the edges...

Intermediate Stage:

Then I added hardware...

I added the same octagonal pulls that I have on another dresser that I've re-finished, I like them and they are a good price (from Target).

When I went to put these on though, there was a slight problem...

...when the pull was screwed in as tight as it would go, there was still a space.  Not cool.

So I took a paint stick, drilled as many holes in it as I had drawer pulls to install, cut in between the holes with my miter saw, and...

Ta da, we have a pull that is tight.

And now I have the two dressers set up side by side in the new nursery.
The tall one will have a tray on top for incidentals like baby powder and lotion and the lower one will have a changing pad.

So, what do you think?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Curvy Fireplace: part I

So, background on what prompted the drill drooling in the first place.
I was working on helping a friend build a fireplace surround, and neither of our cordless drills were having the torque needed to drive some 2x4s together very well.  So he went and checked with another mutual friend (his across the street neighbor), who responded with a "I have just the tool for the job".
Enter the cute little cordless impact drill.
And I fell in love and the rest is history, history that can be read here.

But I thought that I would show some work-in-progress photos on the fireplace and then maybe update with done photos when done.

It's curvy.  Not anything that I would ever think up on my own (my style runs a little more traditional), but once presented was a design challenge that I wanted to take on.

Here's the mock up that I drew in Google SketchUp (love that program) before we began to make sure we were on the same page as far as what the end product would look like.  It also turned out to be very very useful in that I could extract measurements for the curves directly from the program without having to do lots of math.
Nothing against math, I like it, but this was easy and probably prevented mess ups.

The final product will vary depending on the tile they choose, but I'm pretty pleased with how it's turning out.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My husband is awesome...

For he got me this drill I have been drooling over just because.
I was surprised, and actually OK with being surprised.
More than OK, ecstatic.
Why was I good with this surprise and how was I surprised?
(good question actually, seeing as how I am the master of our family accounting and see all in/outflows)
(that's why I'm usually not too keen on surprises; doesn't the thought ever cross other women's minds "wow, that's great you were thinking of me sweetheart, but I just wasn't planning on spending that money right now")
He earns something called "perk points" for being great at work.  And he used some to get me a tool.
Awwww, that is so stinking cute.

So, can I tell you why I love this particular drill so much?
It's itty bitty and fits my small hands well.
And it's an impact drill, meaning it's hammering in the screws at the same time as screwing them in.
Which is handy in situations where putting my full body weight still doesn't give the heft needed to drive something in.

What can I say, tools were invented for girls.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

September 24th Ultrasound

 So we had what they call a "fetal survey" last Friday and boy was it ever.
They go over the baby head to toe, inside and outside, to check that certain things are going OK.

And our baby is a boy.
Desmond Coy.

I won't show the shot that proves it because I just don't know how I feel about posting his little boy parts all over the internet.
And I usually go by the motto "when in doubt, leave it out".

I just love these profile pictures though, looking less and less like an alien every day.
The technician says he's about the size of a little Skipper doll (remember those?)
Somewhere in the range of 7-8 ounces (I can't remember the precise number).

Cute little foot.
Everything is cuter in miniature.

Other items of note that I want to remember:

-they moved my "official" due date from 2/20/11 to 2/27/11.
They think that I'm actually at 19 weeks today vs. the almost 20 weeks the traditional clock would have me at.
I'm totally happy with this because it means more time for labor to occur naturally before someone tries to suggest inducement and I'll have to argue with them.  Within reason I don't want to be induced.

-I have a "low lying placenta"
Meaning the place in the womb where the (for lack of knowledge of better terminology) "stuff" attached, the place where the umbilical cord leads to and where all of the transfer of input and output between me and the baby happens, is closer to my cervix than the doctor's comfortable distance of 2 mm.
I'm at about 1.2 mm.
They'll do another ultrasound at 32 weeks or so to see if the placenta has migrated the .8 mm that it needs to as the uterus has grown.  This will most likely be the case and I am hoping for this resolution because if the problem persists I will most likely need a c-section, which I don't want.

At any rate, we're happy and relatively healthy and I still feel pretty dang awesome, so I don't think I could ask for more.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Mommy!

Today is Mommy's birthday.
I am celebrating by getting out the picture book.
I love that I am the keeper of the family pictures.

Picture at the hospital, brand new baby Melody.

Pretty baby.

I love that my grandma has labeled these pictures.  Seeing her handwriting just reminds me of her and makes me happy.

Don't you just love how Grandma can pull off any style and look awesome, look at that beehive hair.

Mom is smack dab in the middle of seven children.

So beautiful.

Hey, I hope today is a lovely one for you Mom.

Love you.

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