Monday, April 20, 2009

Backyard Beautification

We had a gargantuan red bud tree fall on both our back porch, and the garage during the ice storm a couple of months ago. It didn't hurt either structure, but the tree was toast. Unfortunately, that meant it had to be removed. It was just too far gone.
We have been dreaming of changing the tiny backyard, pot-holed mosquito haven into a courtyard type space that we would/could actually use. Our original plans were to brick around the red bud tree, so that we could still enjoy it's shade. It really is sort of bittersweet, we hated to lose the tree, but now it will be much easier to arrange things back there.
Jesus, who has done multiple projects around our house, just returned this weekend from a long hiatus rebuilding what was damaged in Texas after the hurricanes there. So here we go!
The tree guys came today to take out the tree & stump, the flagstone will be delivered tomorrow, and Jesus and his crew are starting cleanup & leveling tomorrow. Stay tuned for photos...

Sunday, April 19, 2009


You know what I am talking about...
You see a house for sale that needs a lot of work, but you envision what it could be. And almost as if the house senses your ideas, it starts calling for you. It needs you to buy it, it needs you to love it. You think about it when you wake up, and when you drift off to sleep at night. The majestic white columns, the enormous wrap around porch, the large lot with the three car garage...
And those are just the known details. What could be inside? Inlaid wood floors, original crystal chandeliers, a curving staircase?
Then you find out how much it lists for (in this economy-no way, even if it is so worth it), and you start thinking about how much it will cost to revive it (OUCH) and make it what you wish. Especially, since it has been a four-plex rental for the past many, many years. And the time, you think about all that time you will have to invest while living like a refugee again. Not to mention, we would have to sell our house, our house that we love, our house with the kitchen we waited months for.
Suddenly, the lust starts to wear off. Home starts feeling like the place to be, and you suddenly have a new appreciation for it.

Thursday, April 09, 2009


Natalie is two. So far the two's have not been terrible, (though sometimes challenging) but they have definitely been interesting. Who knew that chasing cats would become a father-daughter near-nightly activity? Below are some Natalie-isms:

"Oooh, you look like Halloween!" -this is actually a good thing, a big compliment - it means you look fancy or dressed up

"Mommy, you look like a MANIAC!" -not sure what that one was supposed to mean, as she said it and laughed like crazy.

"I want a beautiful man" - figured out that she was asking for a Barbie Ken doll to match her mermaid doll

"bumps" - referring to breasts. When Graham was born, this became the topic of a lot of conversations & questions at our house!

"My throat is hungry"

"Molly's a nice cat" - said convincingly to me while she was harassing the cat so that I would let her continue, rather than tell her Molly is getting ready to bite & make her stop. This is an ongoing lesson that I don't see her learning anytime soon!

"Molly's grumpy, she needs to go outside!" -said through brokenhearted tears, after the bite

"NO, that's MINE! No, Molly, NO!" - said during many squabbles with the cat. Molly takes Natalie's ribbons, sits in her swing, lays on her bed, and claims her blankies that she leaves around.

"Mommy, you got lots of hair? Nana got lots of hair? Meme got lots of hair?" and so it goes for each family member until..."Papa...he not not got hair. He has a head" (Papa is somewhat bald!)

"Hear that? Hear that peckwooder?" - referring to the woodpecker outside

"(Add name here) TOOTED!" - said LOUDLY when Natalie toots, followed by loud laughter. This is especially embarrassing when said at Target. I've found the best place to hide is in the men's underwear section...

There is also a new fascination with rubber bands. She's found they are useful not only in her hair, but in Barbie's hair and also for keeping worn out doll diapers on Cabbage Patch Kids. We were in the car and Graham spit out his binkie (for the millionth time that day). Natalie says, "Oh no, Graham popped his binkie! He needs a rubber band!" Oh if only!

Sticks Out Like a Sore Thumb...

I totally see how that phrase became a staple in American language. See the pictures below? Yes, both of those thumbs belong to the same person - ME.
After pulling Natalie out of the car and putting her on my hip, somehow I managed to slam the car door on my thumb. It didn't close all the way, but it did latch. My first reaction was to jerk my thumb lose, which may be part of why it looks so bad.
After a day of throbbing, Chris came home and drilled some holes in the nail to relieve the pressure. Disgusting, but it was instant relief. I'm thinking I may lose the nail...I'm also thinking I may have broken it?

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