Thursday, November 3, 2016

growing up, moving on

something changed this year. i don't know why & i can't pinpoint exactly when but i started to appreciate the house i live in & decided to document my love/hate relationship with it. it feels like too hard of work to not show it to someone besides myself.

so. if you're interested to see what i'm up to, you can follow along at lovelylittleshit.com

i thoroughly enjoyed the years i spent blogging little snippets of my personal life as bear + deer. somewhere along the way this space no longer felt like me which is why i stopped. i won't let that happen again.



** warning: in the name of happiness, i decided to stop "hiding" who i was this year & because of that, my new blog speaks how i speak (i.e. vulgar - if you couldn't tell by the name alone) so if you have difficulties with hearing someone use the f-word, it's probably not the place for you & that's cool.

Friday, March 11, 2016

hello. it's me.

i had a blog once.
& i loved it so fiercely.

...

now i love myself fiercely.
i've grown a lot the last couple of years.
i've found myself.

i don't think my self likes to share with the world anymore.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Honesty with Motherhood.

I've been purposefully slowing my life down over the last 12 months. It is probably the slowest it's ever been which has also made it the most enjoyable. Living without rules, schedules & unnecessary obligations is turning my life into the simple way of living that I've always craved. It has shown me how truly happy I am without responsibility and it has shifted my priorities significantly. My priority is now myself (& Ryan, of course). I want to better myself and just live for me (/us). I want to adventure. I want to learn. I want do whatever I what whenever I want.

I've dealt with a lot of depression & anxiety the last couple of years for a handful of reasons. The depression has subsided most days but my social anxieties & reclusiveness have gotten worse. When I turned 25, I had a secret crisis about my life because I couldn't stop comparing it to societies idea of what a married 25 year old woman's life should look like. I actually have a blog that I wrote from that time still sitting in my drafts. I reread it now and it sounds desperate. About a year ago, before my birthday, Ryan & I had a serious conversation about kids. It was a conversation that both of us had avoided having for awhile because we both thought the other wanted something that we didn't. It turns out, we didn't. Neither one of us want kids. I'm not saying that we'll never have them. I am fully aware that I might wake up in my 30's and think "holy shit! I need a baby and I need it now!". I'm not a fortuneteller. What I can tell you is this: I spent my early 20's thinking that being a mother is what I wanted. I spent a lot of time crying, depressed & angry because I was not able to get pregnant. It's something I laugh at myself for now. I didn't really want kids. I was coming out of a weird friend break-up that really rocked me & left me with this strange, deep sadness and all I really wanted was that bond that a mother has with their children. I wanted to know that somebody would love me forever. I wanted my mother to be a grandmother (because she will be damn good at it). I wanted to fit into the mold of a married woman. For once in my life, I wanted to fit in and feel that unconditional love of a child. I still think those things about motherhood are great. Do you know what I don't want though? The rest of it. The only thing I'm willing to wake up for in the middle of the night is a fire or natural disaster & I definitely don't want to wake up before my alarm goes off in the morning. I don't want to schedule my life around this little creature that literally needs me for everything. I don't want to spend hundreds of extra dollars each month. I don't want postpartum depression. I don't want to miss out on celebrations for my friends and family. I don't want to pass up on spur of the moment vacations. I don't want to not enjoy alcohol or nicotine when I want. I don't want to stop giving my 3 dogs less attention. I don't want a minimum of 9 months of jacked hormones. I don't want to not be selfish. I am selfish & I am free to be so. I am not scared of motherhood. I am not scared of ruining a child's life. I am not scared of molding a kid into an awesome adult. I am actually pretty certain that I'd be a pretty bad-ass mom. I don't want to have a child if I'm doing it because I feel it's what I should do and I definitely don't want to just to appease anyone else. I will have children if I ever feel passionate about having one. If my entire being ever looks at motherhood and what it takes to raise a kid and goes "Yes, I would LOVE to dedicate 100% of my life to that and I don't care what 'negatives' come along with it", then I'll reconsider.

It was HARD for me to get to this place. It was hard for me to admit that I didn't want kids. And that was hard to understand.

I am MAD that it was hard. It should NOT be hard to make personal choices for yourself! It was hard because everything around us (women), says to marry & reproduce! It was hard because I was scared of what my life would look like without them, because I've never seen that life before. Society gave me a damn panic attack because I turned 25 and believed that there was little to no place in this world for me.

This is what I wrote on 4/6/14, exactly one month before 25:

"Today I am shaken by an overwhelming fear. A fear brought on by living the life of a childless woman. As women, we are taught our entire lives to grow up and become a wife & mother. Movies, TV, books; they supply us with help on how to manage falling in love, having kids, losing kids & infertility. What about the women that roam this Earth without children? There is no help to navigate those waters. Where is the book that teaches women to maintain relationships with the people they care about while watching them go down the path of motherhood again & again? We sit on the sidelines & cheer you on, mothers of the world. We're damn good cheerleaders too. But what happens when you look around & you are only surrounded by women with children? I cannot help you with that aspect of your life. An aspect, that for a lot of women, is all there is once they give birth. An aspect, that's no longer just an aspect, it is all they are; they are their children. I cannot speak into your life on raising them & all things motherhood. Where is the book the helps women once their friends realize this & leave them behind with their party days? Where is the help that one needs to explain to their parents that you're not going to make them grandparents? Who is there to help women realize that one day them themselves won't be grandparents? Is there even a place for childless women?"

Parts of me still have some of these fears. I will continue to have some insecurities about my friendships as they have children & I remain here, drinking vodka on a Wednesday night & enjoying a cigarette in the night air. It's similar to the feeling I had when all of my friends went to college & I went to work.


I'm not sure why I felt so compelled to write this today after being silent for so long. Sometimes you just have to get your thoughts on paper. And this, this is my paper. Maybe it's because a co-worker told me that having kids was not a want, "it was a must" and I had zero way of responding in a professional manner. I don't think my first thought would be appropriate for a superior.


Most of the time nowadays, I feel like wearing a sign around my neck that reads:
THIS IS ME & YOU CAN DEAL.




*Maybe I should add that I don't hate on anyone that lives to be a mother. I think that's amazing and it's a special super power talent that I don't understand and I will love your kids so hard. Especially your babies, because holding babies is one of the greatest things in life. Who doesn't love babies?


**I also understand the logic that most mothers have that one day I could get pregnant (which is very unlikely genetically) & my entire outlook would change. That I would no longer see the "negatives" as negatives. That I would be more than willing to give those things up for a child once it happened to me & guess what? I think you're right. It would. If I woke up and found myself magically impregnated, I would embrace it & love it & do right by motherhood. Telling someone that they just don't understand or that they're young and it will pass or that they can't even grasp real love until they're a parent is one of the most obnoxious things. It's as bad as telling someone in a hard time that "everything happens for a reason" or "it will all work out". You aren't that person so you don't understand either. The point is, that just because something is great, does not mean that everyone should experience it. I don't doubt the greatness of motherhood.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Revisiting The List: "January" Cure

Here is a look back at the list I created at the beginning of January. There have been several additions & changes since the last time (marked with *). The majority of our progress has been the complete room swap we're in the middle of right now & of course the kitchen changes that I made several weeks ago. The house is kind of a crazy mess right now but we'll be kicking our butts into high-gear this week to prepare for several different guests this weekend.

Exterior:
Scrape front porch of red paint
Wash all exterior windows
Rake & bag leaves
Remove excess cables from exterior brick
Remove all 3 flower beds in the backyard (under window/garage/random) & level dirt
Clean out "the lady bird hole"
Fill in above mentioned hole crater with dirt *Have yard professionally leveled
Seed front & back yards
Fill in west-side yard with weed blocker & rocks
Cut down rose bushes on east side
Clean gutters
Trim up all trees
Re-caulk (with clear) all windows & doors
Paint all outside trim
Replace mailbox
Power wash entire house
Re-mortar bricks as needed/possibly paint exterior brick (Preston?)
Put piers under house - new quote needed
Replace roof
Replace fence

Kitchen:
Clean the back door + dog door
Organize cleaning supplies under the sink
Find a better solution for pantry & organization
Find a better solution/set-up for the built in desk (it feels like wasted cluttered space)
Replace all dishes 
Replace cups to match
*Add 2-4 more stools around bar
Paint kitchen a lighter color
Replace all 3 ceiling light fixtures
Replace light above the sink with a pendant like this or this
Replace knobs & hinges with a lighter color
Figure out something with kitchen back-splash (paintable?)
Replace stove to match surrounding appliances
Replace counter-tops (concrete overlay?)

Hallway:

Organize/purge cabinets + give them a good inside cleaning
Properly replace handles on drawers with knobs
Touch-up ceiling paint
Replace light fixture & sell old one if possible

Bathroom:
Frost window & remove curtain
Replace burnt out bulbs
Caulk around bathtub
Re-tile shower
Refinish bathtub?

North Bedroom:
Remove everything that's not used (old stools, boxes, etc.)
*Sell amp & guitars
Replace ceiling fan (water damaged) (this?)
Refinish Audrie's bookcase
Put up roller blinds
Fix paint on both doors (chipped/peeling)
Move bikes to garage & get a rack like this
Come up with guest bed solution

South Bedroom:
Replace blinds with roller blinds
Replace ceiling fan to match other bedroom
Drywall ceiling (plaster is cracking)


**We've decided to swap our dining room & living room space so things are a little different than before. We love how open our living room/kitchen/dining area is but have always hated the layout of it. After 4.5 years of living here and several different furniture arrangements, I think we've finally figured out how it should've been all along.**

Dining Room/Seating Area (formerly the living room):
Get 5x7 frame for cross-stitch
Add a table runner
*Remove curtains 
*Add rug + rug pad under the table (the one from the living room?)
*Get smaller, round dining table
*Replace dining chairs over time
Replace light fixture with something like this & sell old one
Sand all woodwork (baseboards/mantel/doors)
Paint all woodwork semi-gloss white
Bring record player inside from garage (if needed) to use as sofa table/replace legs w/hairpin legs
Remove gas insert – make sure gas line is capped off & fill with logs like this
Replace recessed light bulb
Paint fireplace to match woodwork (white to match woodwork? dark grey?)
Patch plaster cracks
Patch holes above fireplace & paint grey to match walls
Frost front door

Living Room (formerly the dining room):
Swap surge-protectors & organize cables in my new CableBox! (I'm a dork.)
Add key holders above entry table - like this
Add hanging coat rack behind front door - like this
Add rug pad &/or possibly get new softer/cozier rug (move old rug to DR)
*Replace light fixture with something like this & sell old one
*Hem pld living room curtains to fit picture window
Refinish coffee table ($30 craigslist find!)
Sand all woodwork (baseboards/window seat)
Paint all woodwork semi-gloss white
*Spackle/paint all the dozens of nail holes from the old picture gallery wall
Find a mid-century credenza for our TV *or use our storage headboard (currently used as a sideboard)
Add pictures to empty frames on picture wall & hang *(or move pictures to different wall)
Organize & cover the "cubbies" under the picture window with tension rods & curtains
Paint blue wall to match remaining walls

Throughout: 
Give all baseboards a nice cleaning
Spackle holes in walls throughout house & remove old anchors
Caulk all crown molding, fix separation cracks & repaint
Refinish hardwood floors
Get rid of those squirrels!! (2 of these in the attic & they don't care!! Time to call a professional.)

I never did complete a couple of the official cure tasks like a deep clean of the medicine cabinets & bedrooms but I feel totally okay with that. I have completed so much more than what I had planned & I'm happy with the pace I'm going right now. Some of the progress can't be seen on the list, like buying supplies for upcoming tasks or even entire pieces of furniture we hadn't planned on to complete a room & because no blog is complete without pictures, here's a nice little sneak-peak into what's been happening:




Friday, February 28, 2014

Man-free Friday

Last Friday, my best girl friend & I ditched our responsibilities & our husbands for a night in Dallas at a new favorite hotel chain, NYLO. I couldn't have asked for a better way to relax, have fun & spend time in the best company. So thankful that Tommie asked me to come along.

The trip included a lot of hang out in the hotel time because look at this room. I didn't want to leave.
 Our first In-N-Out experience which I loved:
 & ferrets, because you know... it's not a good time unless I touch some animals.


In other news, this weekend will be Operation: GetMyHouseInOrder




Monday, February 17, 2014

Valentine Dogs

My house got dirtier & my body got heavier but it was worth getting away for a long weekend in Tulsa... I think. Ask me again at the end of the month when we do our weight & measurement check-ins. Damn you, pizza & burgers!! 

Sometimes it just feels good to not do much of anything somewhere else that's not home, so that's what we did. To prove it to you, here are the only pictures I took:
I am happy to announce that Peggy has also proven to be a wonderful little traveler, which is kind of a must in our family. According to what I overheard on the elevator, normal people don't take their dogs with them out of town for Valentine's Day. Good thing I've never claimed to be normal.

We did do a little furniture browsing on Saturday & saw a few pretty cool shops. Ryan finished the night at a concert while I soaked up 3.5 hours of Sex & the City with very cuddly dogs.

Now onto my next weekend trip this weekend to Texas. No dogs or husbands are coming along so I'll have to spare you a post without their cute faces & come up with something else to talk about.

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day even though we don't really acknowledge the holiday around our house!




Thursday, February 6, 2014

Slightly looking back; Big things moving forward

In 2012, I lost relationships,who I was, a dog & my ability to function without a child. 
In 2013, I quit smoking, found strength in my relationships, found who I am, lost a dog but gained 2 more & could pretty much care less about the subject of children. I am 100% okay with not being a mom & possibly never being one. Time will only tell & I'm happy with either outcome.
In 2014, I hope to never lose a dog. ever. can't do it 3 years in a row. I hope to continue down a path of relaxation & balance in all aspects of my life, including relationships. I hope to practice what I preach in my financial journey & reach my goals. I hope to lose 50 pounds, 20 of which was gained in 2013 after putting down cigarettes. 

I want to get healthy. Just like smoking, losing weight is one of those things we'll say we're going to do over and over and over & never actually do it. This year, just like with smoking, I feel the change & the realness of it all. I am totally going to mess up at some point & eat those McDonald's chocolate chip cookies that I crave ALL. OF. THE. TIME. but I'll get past it & I know it.

Every time we embark on a new "diet" I always learn something new that works best for us. I'm trying to use all of those things to help stay on stack this time.

  • Stay organized but not too organized. Meal preparation & planning makes for a lot less stress during meal times which means you aren't as likely to throw in the towel & go get something. BUT I hate plans. I hate big commitments (how did I ever get married?). So I have to come up with meal plans that leave room for flexibility & change. I would totally love to be one of those people that cares enough to be a paleo freak but I know that I don't have the dedication. I can lean towards it & eat a lot of paleo meals but I know the second that I declare to only follow paleo diets that I will fail instantly. Thank you bags of frozen chicken breasts. You give me endless varieties & don't spoil.
  • I know myself way too well to know that even if I pay for a gym, that I won't go to one. I won't. Oh, I probably will for the first week but I will have a thousand of the best excuses not to after that. I am a homebody. I always have been & always will be. I get embarrassed in front of strangers in places I am unfamiliar with, especially when doing something completely unfamiliar to me; ie. everything at a gym. I knew I needed to find a way that I would exercise but be comfortable at the same time. In comes my new gazelle. I love her. 
  • I also know that I'm lazy in more than just that area. I need help getting weight off because if I don't see progress, I will definitely go order a dozen of those McDonald's cookies & enjoy being fat for another year. Thank you Plexus Slim for existing & curbing my appetite. 
  • Nothing in this world will motivate me more than competing my husband for it & being rewarded for it. So thank you Tommie for being my partner so we can kick our husband's asses. I can't wait to win & rub it in their faces for eternity with our skinny butts & prizes.
I'll let you know at the end of the month how we did on this new journey. Until then, I'm going to go dream about cookies while eating baked chicken.




Friday, January 31, 2014

Piggy Pegs

It was time we all had a little more estrogen in the house so I've been browsing rescues & shelters for a couple of weeks to see if anything caught my eye. I was set on female pit, under 1 year or older than 5. Last Sunday came around & we decide to go look at the OK Animal Shelter at the dogs we had favorited online. The shelter is probably what my own individual hell looks like. I could sit in there & cry with those dogs for days. The sadness that fills the adoption rooms is overwhelming for me. It's so loud that you can't think for yourself & forget about trying to actually talk & be heard. I am generally found covering my ears & yelling apologies at all of the dogs I don't pick to look at. All of those dogs just fighting for attention so that they can be taken home & loved is almost too much for me but I do it anyway. I know it's worth it if we end up saving one. We took all of the dogs that we liked online out one by one & played with them for a little bit, hoping for a connection. Some of them we knew weren't right immediately & others we desperately wanted to be the one but knew that they weren't.

We were putting the last dog away when I spotted this pretty girl with red eyes laying on her bed & not making a noise. Her card said "Peggy. 3 years old. Good with dogs and people of all sizes". We also found out that she was pregnant when they picked her up & had puppies shortly after in mid-December. We thought it was worth a shot so we took her out of her kennel & into a private room. This is the face that looked back at is:
She was sweet immediately. She obviously wanted to show us a lot of affection but was also very timid so she just kept leaning against our legs. I can't describe what it is but we both thought the same thing; she was just like Ollie in pit bull form & her name was a sign (King of the Hill reference for anyone that watches that). Her mannerisms are so starkly similar  to Ollie that it brings me to tears at times & I'm overwhelmed with how wonderful she's fit into every aspect of our lives. She favors her dad, nuzzles her nose in the cracks of the couch & loves the other dogs like she's always known them. Even Comet, who hates the world & is very protective of Hank, loves her dearly. So thank you Peggy; for managing to rescue me just as I rescued you. 
Welcome home Peggy aka Piggy aka Mama. Please stay forever.




Monday, January 27, 2014

Turtle Pace: January Cure

My cure is at a standstill. I have made very little progress in the last week but do you know what? My kitchen is still clean. That earns me at least 5 gold stars. Not only has it remained clean but it's also gotten more use in the past week than it's gotten in a long time. I've gotten in the habit of actually cleaning it while I go or spending a couple minutes before bed loading the dishwasher & clearing the counters. Is this what being a real adult feels like?

Tasks #1-8 happened so fast & with so much excitement that I ran out of fuel but I have managed to do a few of the tasks assigned.

#9. Create a Landing Strip. That is somewhat of a tough one when your front door enters right into the middle of your living room. I am already good about sorting the little mail we receive on a daily basis. I have a mail sorter on our built-in desk in the kitchen that I use to hold mail awaiting filing. I took this time as an opportunity to spring for the coat rack & key hanger I've been eyeing. I can't have too many animals in my house can I? You'll just have to look past that lovely front door. I started sanding it weeks ago & well. I didn't get far.
#'s 11 (work on main project) & 14 (cord clutter) were already done so I took those as days to do absolutely nothing.

The last two weekend projects of #'s 12 (bedroom deep clean) & #17 (living room deep clean) I just completely blew off. I had all weekend to do them & just opted right out of it. But my kitchen is clean so that makes up for it. I'll have you know that I do regret my decision. 

#'s 13 (file paperwork) & 15 (clean medicine cabinets) I plan on completing & they won't be hard tasks to do but..... I could catch up on the shows on DVR instead. That's what my body is telling me anyway.

I actually did do #16 because I am always willing to get rid of crap. They challenged people to get rid of 10 "media" items, whether it be books, movies or .music. Ryan thought that sounded crazy but I ended up at least doubling that number just between books & movies. Going through CD's is on my to-do list but it'll be a bigger task so I decided not to mess with it that evening.

Tonight's task (#18) is a "catch-up" day that I could spend completing one of the ones I missed but the first half of the evening will be spent at the vets & the rest of the time I'll be trying to get rid of this headache.

I may have started to slack off & things are moving at an extremely slow pace but do you know what? I haven't given up & I've gotten to mark 7 things off of my huge project list & that feels awesome.

So, how is your home going? Am I the only one that struggles with keeping it clean all of the time?




Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Clean & Almost Painless Kitchen: January Cure

I did it. I survived the weekend while actually cleaning my kitchen. That sucker is possibly cleaner than it's ever been in the 4 years of living here. The insides & outs of every cabinet got a thorough cleaning & almost everything got a new home that made more sense. I even cleaned the inside of my oven. At 8pm. On a Sunday night. With an injured arm. At some point during the cleaning process I pulled a muscle in my arm from the shoulder to elbow. Ridiculous, right?

It took me two days to complete & I lost momentum right about here:
I had to call upon my best friend for some motivation to finish. Lucky for Ryan, I took the advice & he didn't have to stare at that madhouse for months. & look! I have a functioning pantry that isn't on the ground!
*Side note: Do you see that back splash? What is that? It always looks dirty no matter how much you scrub & iritates the crap out of me! It is like huge sheets of some sort of matte metal with square tiles etched into it. It's also used as the counter top on each side of the oven (see above). You can also see the horrible brown color that is my kitchen. The oven picture captures the color perfectly. The brown looked fine when our living room was green but when I painted it grey over a year ago, it lost it's charm. It needs to go.

My outbox grew substantially during this process & someone is going to get really lucky when they snag our "big trash day" pile off our curb tonight. Enjoy your new fully stocked kitchen, neighbor. I hope you get more use out of that mixer than I did. I might not have managed to downsize our food by 25% but I definitely managed at least that in kitchen dishes & small appliances. Look at those empty shelves!
I won't lie & say that I didn't run 2 laps around my house with my arms in the air, chanting & giving Ryan high fives at 10pm on Sunday when I finally sat down & threw in the towel.

I have a few smaller things that I didn't get to like cleaning the back door & scrubbing those floors but I got my entire month's project of finding a better pantry/organizing solution done so I'm not that worried about it. I even replaced old shelf liners that I've hated for 4 years & bought a dish shelf, like so, to get more function out of the cabinets! Now I can move on to something else on my huge overwhelming list.




Friday, January 10, 2014

My Kitchen: January Cure

There are so many things that I strongly dislike about my kitchen.
Some things I knew the day I bought it but most things have been proven the longer I live in it.
The problems go way beyond the cosmetics of it & reach to the efficiency & flow.
The worst thing you can have in a kitchen is inefficiency, 
especially when you actually use your kitchen for cooking like we do.
Like the fact that the "pantry" is on the floor.
So this is my mission for the January Cure.
My main focus is going to be cleaning out cabinets & purging, purging, purging.
I want to try & downsize enough so that I can find a better solution for the pantry.
It would be so nice for it to be in an upper cabinet but when you only have 2 uppers, your options are pretty limited. The very top cabinets that you can see in the pictures aren't used for much of anything considering it takes climbing on top of the counters a step-stool to reach them. Actually, I don't even know what's in there.
We have so many dishes that their sole purpose is to collect dust. 
I mean, we have 3 shelves entirely full of CUPS & 1 entire shelf of coffee mugs.
These pictures are after I had already set up my outbox on Day 4 & put an entire shelf of glasses in it.
There are also bar stools & a toaster in that outbox. I am really interested to see how that thing grows through the month of January.
This weekends assignment is to clean the heck out of the kitchen anyway so I'm happy to have a little jump start in getting it all done. It's time to pull everything out of there.
Eventually I will replace ALL of our plates & glasses to match. Right now we have two different sets of dishes & about 6 different kinds of glasses. How many cups & mugs do 2 people need anyhow?

Day 2/1st weekend project of the Cure was fresh flowers & floors.
Well... I got the flowers. The floors? Well, they're still dirty.
There is something so refreshing about having fresh flowers in my home.
It's something that I've NEVER taken the time to do so I'm very pleased that this challenge is making me.
So far, the rest of the weeks tasks have been easy & painless.
Yesterday was to get a piece of artwork ready to frame & hang up later in the month & I already knew exactly what that would be. The wooden frame below has just been waiting for my current cross-stitch project so now I just need to make sure it's ready to frame by the 28th!
Will anyone else be spending their weekend cleaning their kitchen?




Wednesday, January 8, 2014

#GNM13

This post has only been 2 months in the making. :)
We took what felt like our first real vacation back in November to Santa Fe, NM with Ryan's parents to visit with family & just relax & we got way more than we imagined. The past two years have been hard different & it was time for our eyes to see new things & experience life a little bit differently.

I've been pondering how to put this trip into words. It wasn't just a trip or a vacation. It was an experience. An experience that I hope I never forget or lose sight of. An experience that taught me so much, yet not enough. The closest single word to describe the entire week is this: enriched

If I had a choice, I would go back right now. Or at least a couple of times a year. I want to spend as much time as I can with Ryan's Auntie Sandra & Christina (Kristina?). They are hands down the cutest couple on this Earth. Their entire lives are filled with love & it radiates off of them so bright that you can't help but catch a little bit of it yourself. Honestly, they are perfect example of who I strive to be. They don't over-complicate their lives. They're honest, loving, hardworking, intelligent human beings that see the world like it's brand new, every single day. I just want everyone to know them but part of me just wants to be selfish & hide them away for only myself. Don't even get me started on how brilliant & talented they are.

They had us over for breakfast in their home & it was probably one my favorite moments in Santa Fe. There is something so personal & special about having a meal made with love in someone's home.
It was also so wonderful to meet Ryan's GREAT Grandmother Helen & the man whom Ryan is named after, Uncle Brad. Helen is the most hilarious 98 year old woman you will ever meet. A woman that requests certain restaurants at certain times depending on which hot waiter will be her server. Her mind might not be as sharp as it once was, but her tongue sure was. I managed to get an overwhelming amount of pictures of the landscape & almost none of the fabulous people that I shared it with. I must get better at that.
Our hotel, The Lodge at Santa Fe, was not even close to what we had hoped and paid for but just look at that view from our breakfast table!
I could stare at this land forever. I don't know what it is. It is just so peaceful & beautiful in my eyes.
Truchas, NM: also known as the ghost-like town full of closed galleries & studios that we got lost in where you could put your arm out the window & touch the houses. We literally stopped at a General Store that said open & it was an empty building with nobody in sight.

I fell in love with that town. I truly did. The views were breathtaking. The culture was enlightening. The people were so kind & interesting. The food, delicious. So... who wants to move to Santa Fe with us?




Thursday, January 2, 2014

Create a Project List: January Cure

Happy 2014 everyone!

I don't make new year resolutions. It's just never been my thing. However, I would really like to continue to work on my "housekeeping" skills in this upcoming year. This is includes everything from the small, should-be-daily tasks, to larger house projects that will help us get out of this house sooner, rather than later. 


Apartment Therapy does a "January Cure" every year & I'm going with it this year. Every day there is a new task to help you clean or organize a piece of  your home until the last day of the month where you can relax because you accomplished something. I don't really want to get too enthusiastic & say that the something will be extravagant but let's face it, I'm okay with it turning out to just be something. Hey, if I only end up with a swept floor -- I will be happy. This is exactly what I need right now though. I need a little inspiration to keep me going. My honey-do list is unbelievable & actually quite embarrassing but maybe some public admittance will help kick my butt into gear. Keep in mind that this is everything from the big to the small; from the realistic to the dream. & I always list the larger, more expensive tasks last in each area. I'm pretty sure that they are wanting a list of cleaning type things in each room & maybe some very minor fixes but I need to get it all out there. Big & small. Because I love lists. & I love crossing things off of them even more.

So here's to a new year & this list being the start of being on our way to a new house! ...eventually.


Exterior:
Scrape front porch of red paint
Wash all exterior windows
Rake & bag leaves
Remove excess cables from exterior brick
Remove all 3 flower beds in the backyard (under window/garage/random) & level dirt
Clean out "the lady bird hole"
Fill in above mentioned hole crater with dirt
Seed front & back yards
Fill in west-side yard with weed blocker & rocks
Cut down rose bushes on east side
Clean gutters
Trim up all trees
Re-caulk (with clear) all windows & doors
Paint all outside trim
Replace mailbox
Power wash entire house
Re-mortar bricks as needed/possibly paint exterior brick (Preston?)
Put piers under house - new quote needed
Replace roof
Replace fence

Dining Room:
Add a table runner
Organize & cover the "cubbies" under the picture window
Paint blue wall to match remaining walls
Replace light fixture
Sand all woodwork (baseboards/window seat)
Paint all woodwork semi-gloss white
Add 1-2 more stools at counter

Living Room:
Swap surge-protectors & organize cables in my new CableBox! (I'm a dork.)
Add key holders above entry table - like this
Add hanging coat rack behind front door - like this
Rug pad replacement
Frost front door
Replace recessed light bulb
Refinish coffee table ($30 craigslist find!)
Sand all woodwork (baseboards/mantel/doors)
Paint all woodwork
Paint fireplace
Patch plaster cracks?
Patch holes above fireplace & paint grey to match walls
Replace curtains (1 panel is missing at the moment. IKEA no longer sells what we have.)
Bring record player inside from garage to use as sofa table - buy & attach hairpin legs
Remove gas insert – make sure gas line is capped off & fill with logs
Find a mid-century credenza like so, but for significantly less & preferably somewhere local

Kitchen:
Clean the back door + dog door
Organize cleaning supplies under the sink
Find a better solution for pantry & organization
Find a better solution/set-up for the built in desk (it feels like wasted cluttered space)
Replace all dishes & cups to match
Paint kitchen a lighter color
Replace all 3 light fixtures
Replace knobs & hinges with a lighter color
Figure out something with kitchen back-splash (paintable?)
Replace stove to match surrounding appliances
Replace counter-tops (concrete overlay?)

Hallway:

Organize/purge cabinets + give them a good inside cleaning
Properly replace handles on drawers
Touch-up ceiling paint

Bathroom:
Frost window & remove curtain
Replace burnt out bulbs
Caulk around bathtub
Re-tile shower
Refinish bathtub?

North Bedroom:
Remove everything that's not used (old stools, boxes, etc.)
Replace ceiling fan (water damaged)
Refinish Audrie's bookcase
Put up blinds
Fix paint on both doors (chipped/peeling)
Move bikes to garage or get a rack like this
Come up with guest bed solution

South Bedroom:
Replace blinds
Drywall ceiling (plaster is cracking)

Throughout: 
Give all baseboards a nice cleaning
Spackle holes in walls throughout house & remove old anchors
Caulk all crown molding & fix separation cracks
Refinish hardwood floors
Get rid of those squirrels!! (2 of these in the attic & they don't care!! Time to call a professional.)

DAMMIT. This is worse than I thought. & you can guarantee I'm missing a few. I hope to slowly work on this way past January & continue it all year long. Some of these things I have begun in some form, even if it's just buying some supplies. Now do you all see why my house make me anxious?



Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Family Photos

I am so incredibly behind on a few things I've been wanting to update about.

The first being that we got our pictures taken by our dear friend, Rachel Apple.
After Ollie died, I almost immediately regretted not having family photos with her so I wanted to jump on getting them done with Hank & Comet. So last month, we made it happen.
I couldn't be happier with the outcome.
Here are some of our favorites:
(sorry if it takes its time downloading!)


We just got back from vacation last week so hold tight for that post!
 -xoxo