Sunday, July 18, 2010

{ One Year }

July 18, 2009

Happy First Anniversary, Sweetheart!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

{ Paint }

"Feather Your Nest."

Doesn't that sound delightful? It's what I've been alternately doing, longing to do, and being insanely frustrated by my lack-of-talent-for-doing. We only have a little nest, and the fact that it's ours {we closed on this condo eight days before the wedding} is itself God's grace to us. At the same time that I'm tickled pink to have free reign over the look and feel of our home, I'm overwhelmed by the sheer volume of choices, in everything from "decorating style" {huh?} to the 9,683 different shades of yellow paint available for purchase. I've loved pretty homes since I was small, but I've never been one to pore over home decorating magazines and blogs, dreaming of my future home. I most certainly did not enter home ownership with a clear idea of what I want my home to look like. In many ways, that has been a blessing: you can't disappoint expectations if you haven't any! Perhaps that's why sifting through possible paint colors was an overwhelming task.

I set a deadline for myself: Memorial Day. We are going to paint our condo over Memorial Day weekend, I said to myself. Which meant: hurry up and choose paint colors! Piles of paint chips. Mounds of paint chips. Leaning-Tower-of-Pisa stacks of paint chips everywhere. Which shade of grey??? There are on 1,285 to choose from--at Benjamin Moore. If I include the paint chips from Lowe's, we're up to 2.64 million. And that's only for the bathroom!!! What about the living room? The dining room, which is continuous with the living room? The hall, which comes off the living room? And WHAT ABOUT THE KITCHEN?! Thank goodness I wasn't even interested in painting the second bedroom/office.

Memorial Day is a nice, three-day weekend, so we set out on Saturday morning with the blithe, innocent joy of Those Who Have Never Painted Before. Naivete, some would call it. Happy because we have no frickin' idea how arduous is the task before us, I call it now. But I digress.

Taping. A seemingly-innocent two-syllable word that I now detest.

Dear Mike. Two words, one syllable each, that I mentally caress with all the emotional gusto I possess.

That dear man not only taped, but painted, all the hard parts: The tops of the walls. The edges between wall and ceiling. That one dining room wall, in all its horrific twenty-plus-feet of height. The weird nook-y area above the kitchen ceiling-y part. See why I make up words by adding "-y" to the end? How else would you describe this above-the-ceiling-shelf-y area?

I'm so dramatic sometimes! In reality, our weekend of painting wasn't really that bad. It was physically exhausting, yes: Every single step of the process took much longer than we expected. We spent so.much.time. taping. We had to go back to Lowe's for additional paint multiple times--the poor-quality contractor paint already on our walls just soaked up the paint we applied, and we ended up using almost double the amount of paint we originally purchased.

Around 1:00 a.m. on Sunday night {Monday morning at this point}, we had completely painted the bathroom (two coats on ceiling + walls), had one coat on the bedroom ceiling, and were finishing up the first coat on the living and dining rooms. Though I had Memorial Day off, Mike needed to work, so after a few hours of sleeping like the dead, we rolled out of bed--Husband to work, Wife to paint the bedroom walls. Did I mention I had a killer sore throat and felt like death and had to go to Lowe's AGAIN to buy more paint?!

is, this project was harder and more time-consuming than we expected, but we did it {all! in three days!!}. More than a month later, furniture is finally rearranged, belongings back in their proper places, paint smell mostly gone. What do you think?

{ Living room - before }

{ Entry - before }

{ Dining room - before }

{ Living room - after }

{ Living room - after }

{ Entry - after }

{ Dining room - after }

I was not at all sure about this green when we finished. It seemed like miles and miles of bright, chirpy Easter green--but once we moved the furniture back into place, I liked it much better. It's still a bit overwhelming at times; I'm eager to hang art on the walls and see if that softens it a bit. I was going for a color that is bright and airy, and this certainly fits the bill!

{ Bathroom - before }

{ Bathroom - after }

{Bathroom - after - complete with prints waiting to be hung }
I was sincerely attempting a gray grey for the bathroom walls--not a blue grey. As you can see, I was entirely unsuccessful, but we both really like this color anyway.

{ Bedroom - before }

{ Bedroom - before }

{ Bedroom - after }

{ Bedroom - after }

{ Bedroom - after }
Our bedroom is my favorite. :-) The walls are a rusty, orange-ish sienna, and the ceiling is just slightly more red than the walls. Lovely. Our Ikea lamps and the duvet cover {the only one of hundreds that we both liked} help round out the Moroccan feel. Don't worry about the white bedside table, I'm going to paint it some color soon!

Now, what colors should we paint the kitchen and hallway? ;-)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

{ Farm Chicks...better late than never! }

One very unexpected-and-delightful "side effect" of being married has been the sharing and enriching of my friendships by the addition of Mike to these relationships. It's as though a deeper, richer element is being unearthed--an element I didn't even know existed, didn't know to miss. It's like discovering that your favorite books, dog-eared and tattered from years of loving and re-reading, have sequels that you knew nothing about! More chapters! More storylines and characters to love, every bit as good {or better!} than the originals!

Such was our road trip to Spokane last month. Chelle and I have known each other almost-forever, and her family's move 4+ hours across the state was such a hard thing to accept last winter. The Farm Chicks Antique Show in early June was the perfect excuse to spend a weekend with David, Chelle, Anniebelles, and Jack. Cooking the "Tumblr kitchen" David made for Chelle, sharing meals in the breakfast nook, playing with Jack and Annabelle, waking up in the blue-white-and-yellow guest room, roasting caramel-flavored marshmallows over a bonfire in the

Farm Chicks was great, too! It was sensory overload: So much beauty and creativity! I only took a few photos--I was too busy soaking in the gorgeousness. It was such fun to see Courtney and her sweet sweet booth {hers was definitely one of my top 5 favorites!}, to meet Jessica and Becca {Becca's booth was another top 5} and Jenny!

This is one of the only photos I took while at the show, and I don't even remember the name of the vendor! Don't you love love love this idea for a lampshade? I'll share photos of the goodies I acquired in another post...soon, very soon.

One evening David and Chelle took us to a park...oh darn, what was that park's name?! {several seconds pass} Thank goodness for Google! Manito Park, that's it. We had the loveliest evening there, complete with rolling down grassy hills and meandering through a formal garden and a pinecone fight in a little grove on the edge of a rose garden. Mike accidentally nailed me on the noggin once....but that didn't slow anyone down for long!

{Trying to see into the upper pool of the fountain, curious if there are any coins in it. I love how even Jack is trying to see!}

I am in love with these hedges. In spite of all the beauty that was at Farm Chicks, these arched hedges--three on each side of the fountain in the formal garden--may be my most favorite beauty of the weekend. They make my soul happy. They are so perfectly Hobbity/Narnia-esque/Little Women/fairytale/Alice in Wonderland, all at once!
I fell in love with Mike all over again, too. He and David spent most of Saturday and a good chunk of Sunday entertaining Annabelle and Jack while Chelle and I gallivanted about the countryside. And Mike loved it. I felt badly because he and David spent so much time babysitting and had very little "guy time," and that just didn't seem right at all. I was apologizing to Mike about that, and he interrupted me: "Babe, don't feel bad!! I had a blast! I love hanging out with Jack and Annabelle." Pause. "And David." He was completely sincere. He really, really loved spending most of the weekend with David and a four-year-old girly girl and a one-year-old grunting-eating-mischief-making baby boy!

This picture makes my uterus weep. Use me! Use me! it pleads. Someday, dear, someday.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

{ A List, and a Request for Forgiveness }

1. In 15 days, Mike and I will celebrate one year since we became Mr. + Mrs.
2. I can't believe how rapidly twelve months have sped by! Didn't we just get married? A couple of months ago? It cannot possibly be one year...not yet.
3. How long does one consider a couple to be newlyweds? I vote for three years.
4. I'm on-call for the entirety of this three-day weekend, and praise the Lord, I haven't had to go to work yet!!
5. Apparently pressure makes me more productive: I've gotten so much done between last night and right now.
6. I kid you not, as I typed the last sentence, my pager beeped. I'm off to work!
7. Pioneer Woman, I sincerely apologize for not making your buttered rosemary rolls in a cast-iron skillet as your recipe directs. I don't have a cast iron skillet. I also have no self-control. My six rosemary rolls came out of the oven less than an hour ago, and I've eaten five of them. No joke. They are deee-lish-ous!!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

{ Baubles! }

There was giveaway a few weeks ago on Chelle's blog, and guess who won?
I did!
I'd have liked to scream, but I was too surprised. I've entered a few online giveaways, never expecting to win. C'mon, the internet is big, and I'm just little ol' me.
And what a treat of a giveaway it was, too: Any item--any item!--from a lovely little Etsy shop called Chouettes.
I nearly fainted from delight.
Vintage bridal?
French inspired?
Old Hollywood glamour?
All these are words that Lily, the lovely shop owner, uses to describe the styles of jewelry she makes. And let me tell you, ladies and gentlemen, I would be thrilled to own ANYTHING in her shop!
When the package came in the mail, I knew that opening it and meeting my new baubles would be a delightful experience. I wanted to savor it. I wanted to have time to thoroughly enjoy our introduction.
Hence, the package sat first on the dining table, then on my desk, for a week. A week, folks!! When I finally had a moment to open it, this is what I found inside:
{Don't you love the bird motif on her card, by the way?}
Cherryheads were inside the pink package.
Isn't it comforting to know that they are a fat-free food?

These are the earrings I chose.
Don't they make you think of summer and sherbet?

I have so much more to tell you...about Farm Chicks, paint colors, new recipes, knitting projects, and our upcoming {first!!} wedding anniversary. I'm still semi-buried under the chaos of painting--I decided that since everything was already out, I should sort and re-organize all of it. So there are still some enormous piles perched around our place; the fact that they are driving me crazy, coupled with not wanting to take photos till everything is put away, will hopefully be a good incentive! Lord willing, I'll have more time to devote to blogging in the very near future.