Friday, May 28, 2010

{sweet & juicy}

The temps are rising.

We go outside to play at 9 am, and we're sweaty.

Just like that, we went from cool breezes and windows open to AC on.

It's official...
The start of summer is just around the corner.

Barrett's already re-discovered a {sweet & juicy} summer favorite.

Our second watermelon of the season. 
 Too bad it was raining when we cut into this one, so we had to enjoy it inside.

There will be many, many more to come.

We hope you can enjoy a sweet & juicy watermelon this weekend!

Happy Memorial Day weekend!


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Meet the Baby:: Introducing Caroline

Amber, Christie, Megan and I hosted a "meet the baby" shower for Audra and Caroline this past weekend.
It really was the perfect afternoon, and everyone enjoyed getting hold the new baby!

{beautiful cake and cupcakes by my talented friend, Christie}

{Audra, Lydia and Caroline...and the hostesses with the mostesses}

We were so happy to have big sister Lydia join us for the party! She did so good too!
Sorry to her mommy for the four or five heavily frosted cupcakes she might have been given by all of her aunts!

{Exhibit A: first cupcake of the afternoon from Aunt Christie}

{Beautiful girls: Kennedy, Caroline, Lydia and Jillian}

{Exhibit B: Time for a BLUE one from Aunt Gretchen. I think the sugar was kicking in, she looks happier here}

{All the bfe mom's got to hold the baby too}

We were happy to have Jillian join us too! We'd just celebrated her 1st birthday with a party the day before. Isn't she a doll!!
She let all her bfe aunts hold her, and we were thrilled!

Congrats again, on your beautiful little girl, Audra!
Although I was hoping Barrett would finally get a bfe baby boy playmate...
I wouldn't trade Caroline for anything in the world! She is a sweet addition.

Now, I get to look forward to Megan's new addition in October!
Excited to find out next week what she'll be having!!! I'm sending BOY vibes to her!

You can see many more pictures from the shower on my website.
I loved them all, so I put together a little slideshow...
{Click the picture below to go there}

OR you can get there from HERE.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

hard-workin' boy

I forgot to post these picture in the {curb appeal} post!
A few of the landscaping process, and our hard-workin' little helper.

He is always telling me "me workin' hard, mama."
He loved being outside with us, and of course digging in the dirt.

See, there's that giant WEED plant I was telling you about.
I guess it might be pretty somewhere. It gets pinkish-purple blooms in the Spring.
But, this was not the spot for it, so bye-bye giant weed plant.
I'm sure people coming to our door always thought, jeesh, they need to pull that giant weed!

These show you want a mess the front bed was before. 
I'm still not 100% in love with it...but I'm not sure there's much more we can do...
Short of hiring a professional landscaper.

After the plant replacements, and before the river rock.

Barrett was a big help...
putting ONE rock on the shovel after every scoop we got.

Yeah, seeing the front bed in this picture confirms that I still don't love it. I think it's the long stones at the front. They need to be power-washed for one. But I think it might look better with something low, like some bricks?!?! Anyway, this picture shows that my new window is in and sparkling! I'm glad to finally have that replaced! Nice that it was under a double-lifetime warranty, but I had to wait a long time for it. It only took them 8 minutes to replace too!

*Just looked back at the pictures of the long stones above. They didn't look near as dirty as in this last pic. Maybe that's because I just ran out and took this picture in the rain :) Hopefully they're just darker and dirtier looking when they're wet!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

{Curb Appeal}

It's been several weeks since we spruced up our home's curb appeal. I've always loved our little home...
It was built in 1952 by locally famous architect, William Caton. Most of his homes have an adorable stone cottage look. Ours definitely does...when I'm giving clients directions to my house, I always say "it's the tan and stone cottage." I will miss that one day. One of the characteristics of a Caton home that I'm not a big fan of: the tiny kitchens. Ours definitely has that too! We've lived here for eight years.

There is even a Caton Legacy Architectural Driving tour available. I just found a link for this, and I remember seeing something about it when I worked at the Art Center. I'm not sure I even know all of the Caton homes in the area. I might have to take the tour myself. Here is another one of his homes, that happens to be on the market right now.

{our first home}
Here is what our home looked like in 2002 when we bought it:

The picture of us on the bottom right was taken by my friend, Audra. It was the morning after our wedding, when her and her hubby, Kane, picked us up to take us to the airport! So sweet of them! I've included it to show what the flower beds along the drive way looked like in 2002. (I don't really remember them, but looks like nothin' but dirt, and you can even see the black weed paper peeking through). p.s. don't we look so young??

In 2004 we got rid of the white and brown vertical siding (we were starting to have a lot of moisture problems with the very old siding), and replaced it with Hardi-plank siding, all new windows, guttering, roof and shutters.

The pictures below were taken the Spring we found out we were pregnant with Barrett.
2007. I can't believe how much some of the shrubs have grown since then.

In April, we got rid of all our mulch and filled our flowerbeds with river rock. We've been replacing mulch every year since we moved in. It would look great for a week, then would start to fade, wash away onto the driveway and sidewalks, and fill with weeds. After this Winter, they were nothing but "dirt" beds, with a few pieces of mulch. We are VERY happy with the way the river rock turned out. We had always wanted to do it, but figured it would be really expensive. Really, it was very inexpensive for the area we filled...and the money we'll save not buying 10+ bags of mulch every Spring! So worth it for me!! And, thanks to the sweet lady at the local landscaping place (I just love small town businesses), we saved a lot of money! She recommended using the smaller (and much cheaper) pea gravel to fill in the base of all the beds, then sprinkling the larger river rock over that. It worked PERFECTLY!! We ended up getting two tons of the pea gravel, and then 1/2 ton of the river rock. We even have some of the river rock left, in case we need to fill-in spots later.

After the rock was complete, we trimmed up all our shrubs, and got some new Hostas for the front bed (thanks to Justin's sister for those).

Here are the {after} shots

That middle shrub is dying a slow death.
Any green thumbs out there that can help me save it?!? It might have to be replaced soon.


{Above} Little metal stand I got from Mamo several years ago. It was a dark green, but I used some hammertone spray paint on it. Sorry, no before pictures! I will get better at that!!

{Above} The area behind our carport where my Vica plants grow wild!! We had enough rock to fill it in, even though we weren't planning to. In the background, you can sorta see the leftover river rock pile. We just made a little barrier wall with some large stones we had (against the side of the shed), and filled it with the river rock.

BEFORE of driveway flower beds: 2007

AFTER: 2010
I didn't realize how much the shrubs had all grown!
I would say "yay, me"...but I don't think I had much to do with it.

{Above} My little wagon desperately needs a paint job. It used to be a barn red color (as seen in 2007 picture above) Any volunteers to fix that?!? And, behind the wagon...another shrub dying a slow death. I obviously DO NOT have a green thumb!

{Above: Left} We painted the front door to match the shutters in 2004 when we did the siding, and also added the storm door. The storm door is always filled with sweet little fingerprints! I like it that way :) We also added the new ceiling light, black mailbox (goodbye gold), and address numbers at that time. I got the Address plaque from Lillian Vernon online. The numbers were really light when it came, so I had to paint over them with a brighter white. I love my little metal milk jug. It came from one of my dad's storage units. (The renters didn't pay for many months,  then left town, and never came back for their stuff. I don't remember what color it was, but I used a vintage leather faux paint kit on it. That was several years ago, and it needs some freshening up.

{Above: Right} The front flower bed. Used to have a giant weed strange plant right under the center of the window. We took that and some mums out, and replaced them with Kim's Hostas. It's a nice shady spot for them, and they seem to be doing great! Notice the lovely moisture growing in the window!! Great news: They came and replaced it TODAY! It's nice and shiny and beautiful again!

This large from window used to just be a little three-foot wide window! When we did the siding, we extended it to the right, making it double the size (or more) ...and it's been so nice to have all that extra natural light!

:: Pause during outdoor {after} photos to squat and take a poppy in the middle of the yard ::

Yep, he's my son!!
I took his picture (he will be horribly embarrassed in 12 years),
then I yelled across the front yard "are you pooping, Barrett?" He quickly replied "NO!"

Sunday night, we enjoyed my Mother's Day gift for the first time!
It was the perfect evening for it...

I can't wait to roast hot dogs and marshmallows on it...
and enjoy a cold beer, while we visit with friends and family.

I'm loving my new curb appeal and outdoor spaces!

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Whew!! I finally feel like I'm able to breathe again...sorta. 
Last night, I was so consumed by the millions of things on my "to-do" list, I just froze. 
I get like every once in awhile, when I get so overwhelmed.

I sat on the couch with a blank stare, making deep sighs.
Justin asked what in the world was wrong with me. 
I told him I felt like I had so much to do, that I couldn't even concentrate enough to make a to-do list!
It all piled up last night: wedding invites, blog design, session editing, print orders, client email campaigns, logo design, cleaning, cooking, laundry, planning Barrett's summer activities, etc., etc.

It was just too much all at once, so I did NOTHING!
We watched our Thursday night shows, and went to bed early (11:30pm).
I just needed the break.

I had a brand new sense of motivation this morning...thank goodness! Got a LOT done: Went to a garage sale; took Barrett on a long walk (per his request); cuddled on the couch before nap time & watched Little Bear;  Made sidewalk chalk roads and ponds on the back patio; mowed the yard and swept the driveway (hubby was grateful); went to Walmart for diapers and milk, ended up spending $56.00; met with two clients; edited pics; started organizing a photo display I will have at the library this summer; enjoyed chatting with my good friend, Tonya; updated updating the blog...yay!!

Kanza Days was the first weekend in May. I was excited to take Barrett this year. The last time he went, he was only 4 months, and slept in his stroller the whole time. There were so many fun activities. We all had a great time!

Started with the Parade...

Barrett was too worried about holding ALL of his candy at once, and taking it back to show Daddy, Mimi, Gigi and Papa, that he didn't pay much attention to the parade. We sat off the curb, in the road, so the kids could see better. Norah Kate's daddy told her if she waved, they would throw candy at her. So, she waved proudly at EVERYONE that passed by! The kids got free comic books too.

After the parade, we went home so Barrett could nap. After nap time, we took him to the fairgrounds for more of the activities.  The tractor pull made him MAD. He just wanted to ride the tractors. Try telling a two-year-old, WHY he can't go sit on one of those tractors.

Lots of cool demonstrations to see:
making rope, churning butter and knitting/rug hooking

Barrett DID NOT want to ride the ponys. We tried...I was sad!
But he did ride this :)

Norah Kate rode a horse with her daddy.
Seeing his friend ride, still didn't change Barrett's mind.

We checked out some old tractors (like the one shown at the top of this post), then it was time for free ice cream...

...and a show!

We watched this little Medicine Show with Farquar THREE times over the weekend. Kylie and Emily loved the magic. I loved it too! I think we only missed one of his shows. Barrett was mesmerized during the first show on Friday night, but by this one, he just wanted to play with sticks and run around with Mimi.

One of Kylie and Emily's friends (their neighbor boy) got called up for a trick.

Barrett finally decided to go up with Grandma Sandy, and sit for a quick minute.
It was a quick minute, then he was ready to get back to playing in the dirt.

Great day! Headed home...

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