As one who has been known to criticize quite freely—and I’m not touting it as a strength—I found Kate Connor’s post convicting and challenging. Check out her truth rant here.
One of our goals this fall was to visit an apple orchard or a pumpkin patch. When our friends mentioned that they were heading to Happy Apple Farm last weekend, we jumped at the chance to join them and were thrilled to find that it’s an orchard and pumpkin patch in one. Hurray for meeting both goals in one shot!
Can you tell that I’m the overly excited mom here? Oh Liam—welcome to the rest of your life.
Matt was our official apple picker. Because of the dry weather, the apples were small but flavorful. The owners of the farm are really great about letting people taste test the apples, so we snacked our way through the trees.
Enjoying a short hay ride…sadly, I forgot Liam’s hat until later that day…no Mom-of-the-Year award for me.
Playing in the tree with Dad…
I love this photo so much—especially their eyes.
I promise that Matt is not picking a wedgie in this picture!
Later Liam caught a ride on our friend’s bike. He’s quite a natural—haha!
If you would have told me that I’d have a hankering for chandeliers five years ago, I would not have believed it. But it’s true—I love me a little chandy these days. Maybe what I really love is their versatility, as chandies are making appearances in all sorts of unexpected places, like laundry rooms, nurseries, bathrooms, kitchens, and even backyard patios. Often they boast cheery colors, as it’s super easy to update an old brassy chandy with a coat or two of spray paint.
They’re even popping up at outdoor weddings!
When you get right down to it, DIYers are a lot like teachers. They beg, borrow, and steal ideas, so of course, being a DIYer and a teacher, it should come as no surprise that I decided to jump on the bandwagon of chandy-huggin’ folks. While doing the casual drive by, I spotted this beaut at a garage sale last summer and literally leapt out of my car to claim it for only $2—gotta love a good deal.
Apparently the woman selling it had originally intended to hang it over her dining room table, but it was too small for the size of the room. Happily, I took it off her hands. Then it sat in the basement while I debated what to do with it. When we got pregnant last fall, I determined that it would indeed grace the nursery if we were blessed with a baby girl, but it just wasn’t to be—and for the record, we’re so glad to have a baby boy, even if means no chandelier.
Then I decided to put it in our master bedroom, so after a bit of prep…
I gave it a coat of primer and then some grey/blue spray paint that matches our dresser hardware (which I also spray painted back in this post of yore).
I love the more subdued matte look.
Now comes the sad part of this tale. In my excitement to switch out our boob light
(yes, that’s a technical term, just in case you were wondering) for the chandy, I didn’t take the time to hold the light up to the ceiling in order to check out the dimensions, etc. You know, the proofreading part of DIY. It turns out that since our bed, headboard, and mirror are not centered with the light fixture, it just looks really strange. Matt and I debated for a few minutes, but the verdict was pretty clear. Was I disappointed? You betcha. Still, I am confident that someday I’ll have the perfect spot for this light, so I’m going to keep it in my back pocket for the time being. You win some, you lose some, I suppose.
Every time I glance at our backyard, the peeling paint of the garage rears its ugly head and glares back at me. Check out this photo from when we first bought the house.
While we’ve trimmed the tree and cleaned up the junk in the yard, the garage itself looks much the same. I’ve tried to ignore it. I mean, it took living here for well over two years before I finally cleaned the dirt and bird poop off the window of the garage door!
And then I sold something on Craigslist.
The buyer needed to get into our garage to see the item…and I was totally mortified. That’s when I snapped and decided a little facelift was in order. Since school was starting and a baby was growing, this normally quick project took almost a month to complete with all the prep work, priming, and painting between Liam’s naps. But she’s finally done—yay!
I’d really love to paint the entire garage, but to be perfectly honest (hmmm…that rings of Eugene from good old Adventures in Odyssey—anyone?), that’s just a little more bite than I can chew right now. So I tackled the next best thing—the door. I have a slight obsession with old doors. They have all these great features, but sometimes they are so old that their lovely attributes get lost beneath the wrinkles. Thank goodness for power sanders and paint! While it took some serious elbow grease to get beyond the grime of this door, it was worth it.
She’s definitely a far cry from perfect, but she’s cleaner and brighter, giving the entire garage a much needed lift. In addition to painting her blue to match our front door, we spray painted the hardware oil-rubbed bronze
and replaced several of the wood slats on the inside of the door. See how they’re all rotted out?
We scraped them clean with a chisel and then picked up some thin plywood from Home Depot (I think it was 1/4 inch). We had them make some cuts in the store and then finished off the rest of them at home with a circular saw, since HD won’t make rip cuts. Then we used wood glue to lock them in place, finishing off the edges with caulk. After a coat of Zinsser’s oil-based primer and two coats of paint, we had a new-to-us door on our hands.
Maybe someday we’ll replace our garage door with something new—or maybe we’ll snag a good replacement at the Restore. Until then, it feels good to have restored a bit of life into our garage without spending much moolah. In fact, I think we only bought the wood and the glue, as we had everything else on hand. It works for us.
I’ve debated whether or not I should post so many photos of Liam on this so-called “house” blog. It wouldn’t be so bad if I was actually posting about projects here or there, but that really hasn’t been happening (although a few minor ones are in the works). Lately this blog has either been *hearing crickets* or babybabybaby. And I’ve decided that I’m okay with it. This is the easiest way for me to update our family in Indiana on Liam’s latest (Facebook overwhelms me, so I stick to the blog), plus it keeps me on my toes with taking/uploading/organizing our pictures—which I would otherwise procrastinate on and end up with a gigantic mess on my hands. And ultimately, I’ve realized that this is our blog, so we’re going to post about whatever the heck feels right to us—be it projects or personal moments. If I sound like I’m ranting, it’s probably because I’ve been feeling a tiny bit guilty for rarely updating the blog. This is obviously my own issue, so don’t feel bad. The day that blogging feels like a chore or something that “has to get done,” it’s gotta go. For now, I’ll post when I can and about whatever subject happens to be on my mind. If you’re still reading, thanks for sticking around! And if not, well, I suppose this little chronology of our life is more for us anyway. Okay, now on to the good stuff.
It turns out that three month old babies are full of fun and constantly changing! Sometimes that’s hard for me. I like life to be somewhat predictable (how boring, right?!), so learning to go with the flow can be challenging. Fortunately, I really like Liam. A lot. Way more than I thought I would ever like a baby (looks like today is full of confessions). Here’s what we’ve been up to…
Trying out the Bumbo…not the most successful, but I’m gearing up to try again.
Lots of looking out the window, especially with Daddy. We are very up-to-date on the neighborhood happenings.
Playing peek-a-boo—this is still a work in progress. He’s loving “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” though…
Liam cheered us on from the sidelines—all bundled up—while we played kickball at our friend’s birthday party. He got pretty excited when Matt kicked a homerun. : )
There’s been a bit of grasping going on, too!
Lately he’s been super curious and observant, so Liam loved our day trip to Eleven Mile Canyon. It was fun taking him into the mountains!
There have been many more smiles and even some bubble blowing. Looks like drooling is right around the corner… I told Liam he looks like a wrinkled old man in some of these photos!
We also checked out the Colorado State Fair on Dollar Day. While the food was sadly disappointing (no elephant ears or fried cheese!), the rodeo ended up being a good time. I mean, how can you go wrong with cowboys named things like Dusty Dan?
And of course, we’ve been hanging out on a blanket in the backyard almost every day as we soak in the last few weeks of summer. The squirrels, birds, and trees could keep Liam entertained for hours on end!
I do put Liam in clothes—sometimes. Why make extra laundry when it’s so warm out? And who doesn’t love a nearly naked baby? (Sorry, Mom!)
Here’s hoping you all have a great Labor Day weekend! We’ll be hitting up a minor league baseball game and the hot-air balloon festival, but overall, we plan to take it easy. Cheers!
Summer has been so great. It seems like this year we’ve especially enjoyed life’s simple pleasures…
Lazing around in the mornings…
Strolling to the local drive-in to enjoy sweet treats with friends (that’s Liam’s buddy in the picture)…
Relaxing by the pool with family (although the Broadmoor pool is definitely in a class of its own and likely shouldn’t be referred to as “simple”)…
Sunning on the porch…
Hanging out in our pajamas with Dad…
Volunteering at our church’s annual Run for Rwanda 5K (it was a little chilly, so we bundled up—Liam was a champ and slept through most of the craziness)…
Catching glimpses of our little guy’s first smiles…
Wish we could push pause and make every day summer!
In the spirit of the Olympic games, check out the athletes’ London digs…
I, for one, was glad to hear that they’re accommodating gangly legs with longer beds. Haha. The article is worth reading if only for a few interesting facts to satiate any Olympic cravings you might be having.
And for those who love a good trip down memory lane, be sure to visit my bro’s post. It’s a tear jerker—at least for dorks like me. Poor Liam…he has to hang out with an Olympic-crazed mother all day! Oh, and it turns out Kristi Yamaguchi (I’m pretty sure this dates me…) is in Colorado Springs this weekend for an Olympic kick-off party. After all, we are home to the Olympic Training Center, which is only a few blocks from our house. There will be dancing in the street of Tejon tonight!
Go Team USA!!
You’ve heard me mention it before. We have a Narniaesque lamp post that just begs for Mr. Tumnus to pop over for a chat. Where is a good faun when you need one these days? Alas, I doubt he’ll be popping by anytime soon, but just in case the situation ever arises, I thought it high time our little lamp post got a good sprucing up.
My original cry of “take it out take it out take it out” never came to pass, because when Matt and my dad checked out the wiring, they found that it connects to our detached garage wiring—meaning if we dug up the post and buried the wires, it would eliminate our garage electricity. So no go. While I strongly disliked the witch hat effect from day one, I got really fed up when it became a headless lamp post due to an overly ambitious game of bocce ball. Witches, headless
horsemen lamp posts, mystical fauns…things were getting creepy!
Thankfully, Matt was able to order a new topper for our post through Lowe’s. (Why this took us months to do, I’m not sure…) Still, I felt like the matte black paint job could use an update, as several parts of the post were beginning to rust or flake. After doing a smidge of research online (can googling really be called research?), I did a light sanding of the post using 80 and then 120 grit paper, wiped it down with a degreasing agent (laundry detergent works well, and it’s already on hand), spray primed, and then spray painted using Rustoleum’s oil rubbed bronze. By the way, consider this a plug for Rustoleum! I am disappointed every time I use another brand of spray paint, but Rustoleum has yet to let me down. I highly recommend it! Home Depot carries the best selection of colors and seems to beat all other prices.
Here’s our post looking all country church in its white primer…
And while it was difficult to capture the true color, here she is in her chic coat of oil rubbed bronze—ready for a night on the
I’m very pleased with the final result and feel like it really gave our backyard a boost. And I love that it only took a few cans of spray paint, so we didn’t shell out too much cash for a post that I have a less than stellar relationship with…but if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right?
Thus ends the tale of our lamp post. For the record, I think this was the first DIY project I’ve tackled since Liam’s birth. It feels good, but it definitely took some planning, as I had to work on it during his naps. Let’s just say that I’m learning to complete tasks in smaller chunks. I’ve found that setting small daily goals for myself is a great way to accomplish things without overwhelming myself. I feel productive and enjoy the creative outlet, but it leaves ample time in my day to hang with Liam.
For those of you still reading who want more than lamp posts for eye candy, here ya go. *WARNING—PHOTO OVERLOAD! I had a hard time choosing…clearly this is my first child…*
We started using cloth diapers last week and it’s going well so far! Call me biased, but aren’t those colorful diaper covers cute? Hmmm…might be worth writing a post about cloth dipes someday. If you’re interested in learning more about cloth dipes, leave me a comment. Cheers!