Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas Cards

I just decided today that I should probably send out Christmas cards this year.  I suppose we are our own family now and can't rely on our parents to do it for us anymore.  Too bad.  So, if you would like a Christmas card from us, I would love to send you one.  But I need your address.  Please email me your address to if you want one.  Thanks!

Oh and by the way aren't you proud of Brent who has been the only one who has posted on our blog in months?  He is great.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Moving Backwards?

I showed the picture on the left to my nephews on Sunday.  They opened their eyes really big. One of them said, "Wow, what a mess."  I totally agree.  

Then I showed him this picture.  One asked,"Is this what it looks like now?"  I said no and explained that this was the 'before' picture.  Both he and his brother seemed surprised that I would change this into the mess that it is today on purpose.

I know it's hard to believe, but, I actually see progress when I see the picture on the left versus the one on the right.  Sure, I see a mess but I also see the open space where the wall used to be.  When I see the wall gone I remember that we will be able to have a full-size table in the kitchen now.  
I also see the ladders where the stove will be and I see the cavity for the refrigerator on the right (that I have to enlarge now that our refrigerator broke). I see the biggest change - the can lights instead of the florescent box. Those lights have made the room so much better.  I see a pile of junk.  However, I see that the junk is on top of an island that will give us a lot more storage and counter space.  

When I see the junk in the kitchen I am reminded about how far we have come.  I am excited that we basically just have the bathrooms and the kitchen left.  It is going to turn out great and I can see signs of it all coming together.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Progress at last

Sometimes during the home renovation process it seems as if we are just spinning our wheels.  It felt like that a lot last week.  For example, not long after I cut a hole in the wall for the refrigerator we bought it stopped working.  We owned it for only three weeks and can't get a hold of the guy who sold it to us.

Sometimes we actually feel like we are making progress.  Thursday we got carpet installed. I got my first look at it today after I got back from our trip to Utah.  I think it looks great.

I especially like how the living room turned out.  When we bought the house it looked like this:
 It has brown walls, writing on the wall, some holes, and dirty, dirty carpet. 
We especially didn't like the sponge-painted wall around the bay window.

Here is how it looks today with carpet.  (Don't look through the kitchen door.  It's a disaster in there right now.)
 My favorite part of the room is the railing.  After trying to paint it while it was attached we changed our mind and took off each post and painted them.  I'm really glad we did it that way - it looks better to see the black hardware instead of painting over the lag bolts.
It was easy to remove the bolts once we had the right tools (1/4" socket adapter and a $35 impact wrench from harbor freight). Thanks to a magic eraser and a lot of work on Christa's part we removed the paint from the bolts that got painted before we changed our minds.  Doesn't the dark hardware look way better than just painting over the bolts?
 We also decided to keep a more rustic look on the beam under the loft.  I like how the cracks are exposed.  We contemplated caulking the cracks before we painted it but I'm glad we didn't.
What's next for this room?  Sand and re-stain the upper beam a darker color and paint the doors for the bedrooms, bathroom, and linen closet.

So what do you think of the living room?  Any suggestions?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Carpet (updated picture)

We are as busy as ever with the new house. The newest development is carpet! No it's not installed yet but that should happen this week. This picture shows off our carpet, the cluttered kitchen(where there used to be a wall), the view to the family room, and our new can lights.
Honestly, the lighting has made the biggest difference. The rest of the house has paint now and is looking magnificent.
Well, back to work. We have got to install the carpet pad even if it takes us all night.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Ceilings (updated picture)

Christa has been scraping our popcorn ceilings for the last week or so. We are still at it tonight taking care of our tallest ceiling. It's only 19 feet tall.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Kitchen - Before

We are happy to have a new house but we are doing some serious work on it before we move in.  Here is an example of what we are doing with our kitchen.
A few days ago:

It's not easy work and we would have liked to buy a turn-key house but we simply can't afford the house we want without putting in a little (or a lot) of hard work first.

Christa has spent all week scraping popcorn texture off our ceilings.  She is working so hard to make the house a place we want to live for several years to come.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Our First House

It needs some work but we'll get there. We feel tremendously blessed.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Big Weekend

We made a big purchase this weekend.  Details and pictures to follow.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Leadman

 My Daddy is amazing.  This last week he showed us all what he is really made of.  And that would be lead. He officially claimed the title of leadman.  To become made of lead a person has to run the leadville marathon one week, do the silver rush 50 mile bike or run (he did the bike) the next week, then a few weeks later race the leadville 100 mile bike race.  WELL, that is not all.  The day after the 100 bike, which is one of the most grueling bike races that starts at 10,000 feet  and just goes up from there, you then have to run a 10k.  No big deal, right?  Oh wait.  Six days after the 10k when you are still recovering from the 100 bike you then go and do the leadville 100 trail run.  Run 100 miles? Who does that? Not me that is for sure.

Well last Sunday he finished the 100 trail run and now is a leadman.  I am so proud of him.  His road was not easy at all.  Early on in the race, when it was still early enough in the morning to be dark, he took a good fall and tweaked his IT band.  He still ran through the pain for over 80 miles, and through that whole time he had a strangely optimistic outlook.  He was even cracking jokes.  I would stop cracking jokes around mile 8.  My whole family, me and my 6 siblings,  were all there to cheer him on, crowd him at feed zones, and pace him.  At mile 60 I saw him and started to cry a little.  I was so worried about what he was doing to himself, and was worried he wasn't going to finish and be let down. But he never gave up.  The cutoff to finish was 30 hours.  He finished in under 29 and got second in his category (did I mention that he is 57?).  Well I have taken this time to brag because it really was one of the greatest things I have ever been able to witness being done.  I love you Dad!
about a mile from the finish.  Do you like how his legs are wrapped in bandages?  They were pretty hurt.

My family took the week between the bike race and the running race and turned it into a family reunion.  We stayed in at Copper Mountain Ski resort in Colorado and had a blast.  Here are some of the things that we did:
"Hot tubbing"  in the jacuzzi bath and playing in the "splash pad" aka  amazing huge shower
We got passes to all of the fun things at the resort.  My favorite was riding the chair lift to the top of the mountain and then mountain biking down.  Thanks Melissa for letting me ride the Jekyll.  It was awesome.  here is Brinley on the bungee trampoline.  Aren't glad I am not posting a video of me on the trampline?  You should be.

Bumper boats
Go cart racing
The climbing wall.  Brinley was brave to try it.

Three of my brothers and my brother's fiance and I hiked Mt. Elbert.  At 14,440 feet Mt. Elbert is the second highest mountain peak in the continental U.S. It was my first time hiking a 14,000 ft mountain, and it was hard.  Although not very long in mileage, it goes straight up making it pretty difficult.  Especially when you are out of shape.  I was sore for days after.

Anyway, my brothers built this cairn.  It is unofficially officially the new highest point in Colorado.

 We went on a beautiful drive up mt. Columbine.  My family thought the most beautiful part was their cars.  haha.  Well mostly we just thought it was funny that all 5 cars are Toyotas and three of them are 4runners.  We were raised well. 

Three generations of 4runners with Mt. Elbert in the background.

We had fun. And I liked that everyone came close to me for a change. Thanks mom and dad for a wonderful week!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Elsie is ONE!

I can't believe this little munchkin is one.The past year went by way way too fast. I know I say that all time, but it is always proving to be true.  My baby is gone and is well on her way to becoming an independent toddler.

At age one Elsie is an amazing little girl.  I have never met a baby with so much energy all the time.  Everything she does it is like she does it in fast forward, and manic mode.  She has to be a part of everything and thinks she is just as old as Brinley. She loves to be chased, loves to snuggle (as long as she can head bang you a couple of times first), and LOVES to eat.

She says a few words and makes the animal sounds of snake, cat, lion/tiger, and giraffe (sticks her tongue out).  Her 4th word was taco, which she first said after stealing a taco from Brinley.  She blows the sweetest kisses and if you ask her to give you a kiss she just wont stop. She just started walking last week and boom, today she is walking all over the place. She has figured out how to get off couches and beds by herself, which I am liking because it makes my life a little easier. This girls brings so much light into all of our lives.  You can't help but smile when she looks at you with her big toothy grin.  

For her birthday we had a fun little family party complete with plenty of cousins.  I was a little bit in denial that she was going to be turning one and put off planning the party we had already invited people to until 10 the night before.  Not smart.  But it turned out great, and more importantly Elsie loved all of the attention, really loved the food, and was a little overwhelmed by opening presents.  

Brent did a great job planning the activities.  Dads are definitely more fun than moms.  If it were me planning the activities I would have just given the kids a hose and let them go at it.  He set up an obstacle course through balloons and water that ended in a slip and slide.  He also made little marshmallow shooters for everyone.  The kids had an absolute blast.  The grass didn't.  It was pretty sad after being slid over all day.

Elsie loved her cake and loved getting her own spoon even more.

Oh my goodness I love this girl more than anything.  Happy Birthday baby girl.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


This girl is so cute.  I love her.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


I've always loved this letter that is hung outside my sister's house. Bold.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Newport Beach Part 2

This year our Newport Beach trip was awesome.  We got to invite our good friends Natalie and Bretton Wall and their little boy Charlie.  Charlie has been Brinley's best friend for the past two years while we were in Mississippi.  It was great to have one last hurrah with them since we moved to Colorado and they are moving to Michigan.  They were great to put up with us too. The second half of our trip we spent with Brent's sister Kristen and her husband Jake.  I kind of like them too:)

This year I really wanted to try surfing.  So crazy Brent up and bought me a surfboard for $50 off of craigslist.  It was a blast trying it.  It also made me tired.  Really really tired.  

The best part of the trip was finishing a book!  I don't know why but it is so hard for me to find time to read these days, and reading is one of my favorite things. Thanks to Brent for letting me go out on the beach by myself while the kids slept. Sigh.  I want to do that right now. 

My memories of going to the beach are some of my favorite.  Brent proposed to me while we were there 4 years ago.  How can it not be one of my favorite places?  I am glad we now get to share it with these cuties. There is nothing more fun than seeing the joy the beach gives to them.
I want to go back. But for now I will just look at these pictures.

Completely off the subject, I just posted about an apron I made for Brinley here. Two posts in 1 day.  That is more than I have done in the past 2 months.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Newport Beach CA 2012 Part1

We had an amazing time at the beach a couple of weeks ago. You would have to be CRAZY not to have a wonderful time I think.  We go to the beach every year and stay in Brent's grandpa's house.  It makes me glad I married him. 

We have tried to make it a tradition to get a family picture when we go.  Here are all of the good ones.  Seriously out of over a hundred pictures I think we only got two or three of all four of us even looking at the camera.  In at least half of them Brinley had her tongue out and was coughing up a lung.  

Brinley loves loves loves water.  Why is water so much more tempting when not in a bathing suit?

 We love this place so much.  Looking at these pictures makes me want to go back....

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence day

We have enjoyed a wonderful day full of a great breakfast, dancing, swimming, eating, napping, and family.
Unfortunately, we won't be watching fireworks because of all the fires here in Colorado, and my parents had to leave suddenly and fly to Idaho in the middle of the day. We miss them being here with us and our prayers are with Grandma.

Saturday, June 16, 2012