Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Revamping The Edge

I still don't have curtains/drapes in my living room and dining room...or any of the bedrooms. We have lived in this house for two years now and I have naked windows. That's really sad, isn't it?

This is the Year of the House. The past two years, the priority list has been chiseled at until now we've arrived to doing stuff around the house. My Daddy, being the old fashioned guy he is, has always tried to instill in me this saying: If you can't afford to pay for it right then, don't get it. I scoffed at him until in the past two years I stopped and realized something. He may be right. Now, that doesn't apply to houses and cars because who really has the cash to go buy a house or car? (If you can afford that, then don't answer because there are many of us who will give you The Look.)

The Man and I started to manage our money a little better and have worked towards improving our home. Sure, it was new when we got it, but it was the model home so we didn't have any say in how it was built and there were really no bells or whistles like other new homes built from the ground up by the people who were going to live in them. We accepted that and made the best of it.

You all know my girl is graduating this year. *sob* We have family and friends who will be a part of this momentous occasion and will be visiting our home...some for the first time. Dude, I want it to look right. Maybe not the bedrooms so much, but the "living" spaces need to be done. Since the first of the year, I have made it my mission to see just what I can get done before May arrives in all its glory.

The first year living here we purchased a dining room set. The next year, we got rid of the carpet in there (seriously? carpet in a place where you eat??) and replaced the floor with hardwood to match the foyer. Nice. We painted that room last year and when I get drapes, I'll be finished with that room. One down.

Last year before my surgery and before The Man left for class up North, we purchased the paint for the kitchen and breakfast room. A lovely shade of pale yellow (Charleston, SC color palette) that I was thinking I was going to do while he was gone. How stupid I was to think I could recover from surgery and be able to do that. Suffice it to say, the paint is still in the garage and there are test splotches of it still on the walls in random places. I really hated the lighting in the kitchen, too. There was one cheap builder grade flourescent light (off center of the island= agitation of OCD) that really didn't help at all. My husband is a nuclear electrician and he and a few buddies have sat and studied that ceiling many many times trying to figure out how to put up more lights. Finally, he conceded defeat and called an electrician. Thank you, Jesus! Electrician came in and in thirty minutes, he told me exactly what I needed and where. I cringed as I waited for his estimate to come into the email box. It was such a relief to see that I know nothing about electricity and installation because if it were left to me? I would have made that  man a fortune off of us alone. We opted to buy the lights instead of him doing so. The trip to the store showed we were way in over our heads because we had no clue what we were doing there or buying.  I am so thankful for the older retired electrician working at the store who educated us (plus two phone consults-one to my Daddy, and one to the electrician) and helped us get what we needed. I finally went and bought the two pendant lights to go over my sink and matching chandelier for the breakfast room I'd been eye'ing for a year. We came out almost a hundred bucks cheaper purchasing the materials ourselves.

See, all of the lights have to be installed and done because painters are coming the second week of March! Yes, sir. Yes, ma'am. Miss Hope is going to have this two story living room painted! Finally! I can't tell you how tired I am of looking at this builder's standard beige/tan/yuck. We decided to let them go ahead and paint the kitchen with the paint I already have. Add in them redo'ing the half bath because that was a failed first attempt on our part at painting. I can't begin to tell you how excited I am to have some color up in my house! We had to really work for this and many things had to be stricken from the list before getting here but here we are! I have a big boy 70 inch ceiling fan for the living room and will have a new foyer pendant light installed by the same electrician when the painters are here with scaffolding. Wait until you see the picture of the pendant light we have now. I have never despised a light like I do that one. I would almost rather have one lone naked light bulb hanging up there instead of the pendant light the builder put in here.

Finally, I will be replacing this living room carpet. I can't take this light colored, stain catching piece we got going on now. Every time I vacuum, I state how much I hate it. Ask my family, I really do state it every single time. I thought about putting hardwood up the stairs but have decided to go with matching carpet from the living room. My kids sound like a pack of buffalo going up and down now. Maybe we can do the lovely hardwood when they're older? Or gone? I haven't even begun to look at carpet places but this stuff we have now has got to go. Oh, and before you all tell me I can have it cleaned? I have. The pretty clean lasts a day or two until my son goes outside and comes back in with dirty shoes. There's just not enough clean to it, man! 

Finally, the curtains for the living and dining room. I have no idea how I'm going to go about doing those. I know it bugs my Daddy that I don't have any so I'm going to make an honest effort to have some before he comes back for a visit. My living room drapes will have to be at least 104 inches long. Cha-ching. I'm really biting my nails on this one. Lord knows, I don't want to pay some interior designer to come in and charge me a car payment an hour for her/him to tell me what I need. I am so curtain challenged!!! I can't believe how unsure I am over material covering my windows.

As you can see, it's a busy time re-vamping The Edge a little right now. Big home projects finally hit the top of the to-do list here. I've waited patiently through braces for two kids, much needed furniture, paid off bills, and other things that came up unexpectedly for this time.

I even have a few pictures of what we've started doing around here. Hope you can see my vision and how much better it will be when all is said and done.

See??? How sad is this? There is no light in this area. It was dark at the stove. Oh, and there's a paint splotch of the yellow we're going to paint.

This is a view from the living room. Crap, I promise I took the peppermint plates down before the electrician got here. I just didn't realize they were still up from Christmas! This is where you can see how dark it was over the sink. No light, people!!

This is as soon as they finished. (note the proper plates are  in the plate holder). I got seven can lights. Four over at the stove and pantry area. Two over the island. Goooood Bye ugly flourescent light! Two pendants over the sink. Why, yes, they are pineapples! There's one more can light in the corner by the coffee pot. We are blown away by the difference and feel like we have a new kitchen. I do believe that if my husband and buddies had done this, there would be many holes all over my ceiling. To me, this was money well spent on a place that really needed some help. My Daddy suggested a dimmer switch. Good call....until the 13 year old discovered it. We had to have a talk about that.

There's our start! I am giddy over how different I know things will look when I'm done. I had some help from the lady who owns the painting company with colors for my living room. It was such a relief to have someone who knew what I wanted in my mind help me pick the right colors. I can't wait to share that with you!

Today is Leap Day or whatever they call it. My boy is home sick with bronchitis. Who knew a nasty barky cough would be bronchitis? Shoot, I was taking him to the doctor yesterday for good cough medicine and left with a two day excuse for school, a round of antibiotics, and cough medicine. He is relaxing in Dad's recliner in his pajamas with his shows on the t.v., Dad's laptop in his lap, and a drink by his side. Kid's got it good and doesn't even know it.

I'm going to have an update on me very soon. I've been holding out because I've been waiting for one particular thing and we're almost there. It'll be a good post.

If you have any suggestions for the curtain issue, I'm listening! Help a sister out!

Monday, February 13, 2012

What my new teenager did...

Tonight I was cooking supper and had Makenna in the kitchen helping me. In fact, The Man and I were out running errands when I called the house to have her start cooking some vegetables. I decided to make chicken and rice when we got home since it's quick and easy. Now, that's a good Southern dish that I have discovered that many outside of The Circle have not heard of nor do they eat. It's a simple filling dish of chicken, chicken broth, and rice, with salt and pepper, all cooked up in a pot. I don't cook it often, but my people enjoy it.

 I can't have rice due to the surgery. While I was getting the stuff on the stove going, I  decided I would boil some eggs and make myself some egg salad. Tasty and full of protein.

I got a small pot out of the cabinet and handed it to Makenna. I said, "I'm going to make some egg salad so please put me five eggs in the pot". (I can't eat but one egg but knew the rest would want some.)

After a few minutes I heard this odd sound I should not have been hearing.

I turned around and there she was.

My child.

Cracking an egg into the pot.

"What are you doing?!?" said I.

"Putting five eggs in the pot like you said!" she replied.

I walked over to the kitchen island to see four yolks floating in the pot and a fifth one about to join them.

I had to bend over I was laughing so hard.

Poor baby doesn't even know how to boil an egg.

She defended herself loudly in that I didn't specify exactly how I wanted the eggs in the pot. I was still laughing.

I finally explained the whole "boil the eggs and peel them and chop them for egg salad" deal to her. We are now clear in that if I give her a frying pan? Break the eggs. If I give her a pot? Then put the whole entire egg inside.

It took a little longer, but I had my egg salad. We did it the right way that time.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

A New Teenager has Arrived!

My kids keep growing and becoming more awesome and I just get older. What's up with that?

This past Monday, my Baby Girl officially hit the big 1-3 !!! Yes, Internets, I now have two teenagers residing in my home. Makenna has hit that mysterious age bracket where emotions run high and life has potential to be one huge drama filled adventure. We've all been there, right?

When I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, the only thing she wanted was a gift card to that place where JoAnn sells fabric and may be some cash to spend at Michael's store of craft goodness. Seriously. She got that sewing machine for Christmas and is itching to teach herself how to make her own fashions. Who am I to stop a designer in the making?

The past weekend was a bit hectic. My mother is in the hospital and we had to go check on her. She is quite ill with another stroke and aspiration pneumonia. ~sigh~ I am so thankful that her mind is sharp and her speech is unaffected. I spent my allotted ICU visitation time with her and hated to leave her on Sunday to head back home. Any thoughts and prayers you can send her way would be greatly appreciated.

Back to the Birthday Girl. Saturday, after a visitation with Nana, we went to grab a bite to eat. Thank goodness for Aunts who figure out the where and when for such a great occasion. I just had to really just show up with the Birthday Girl and family and just enjoy. Makenna picked her place of choice and there was a decent turn out to celebrate. I wish I could have gotten everyone to go but I just didn't have my full mental thinking going on with worrying about my Mama. We all enjoyed a good meal and headed back to the hospital to spend another 30 minutes with the greatest Nana on earth.

The Man has to work evenings this week. Ahhhhh..gotta love the joys of getting a nuclear power plant up and running. I don't even try to understand all he has to do. I do know it's a great responsibility and I'm proud of him and so glad I don't have to know the wealth of information he has to know daily. (I solemnly state on a regular basis that if we depended on me to know what he knows? We'd be living in a shack.)

I did not put off Makenna's birthday supper on Monday night because of The Man's schedule. It was her day and we were going to celebrate! Her choice of restaurant was a Japanese steak house. Her siblings rejoiced because that's a favorite special occasion place to eat. It was my first time going since the surgery and I admit to being a little anxious about it, but I did just fine (that fried rice has potential to be my downfall!). We had a wonderful time and fully enjoyed the food.

Makenna, you have to know how proud The Man and I are of you. I am in awe of your abilities on a daily basis. You don't wait for knowledge to come to you. You seek it out and absorb it like a sponge. You are the peacekeeper of the family and we some times cling to your calming presence like a life line. Your sarcastic humor reminds me of someone...could it be me? I love how you're happy with people and being alone with just yourself. I'm so excited to see the woman you will become as I watch you grow day by day. But, you know, you could slow down just a little bit and I would be perfectly okay with that. You are so loved and without you, our family would be woefully incomplete.

And just so you know? Give me a few more pounds and I am totally gonna smoke you on that dancing W*i game. Where do you think you got that rhythm from?? Humph.

Of course, I took pictures to share with our friends! I can't let such a monumental day go by without pictures!

Yes! This is the shirt I bought her in 2007. Little did I know the child would be able to wear it so much. Definitely a good purchase on my part. This year she snazzed it up with a cami underneath and pulling it tighter in the back. This was the morning before school. Paige let her wear her tiara (for all intents and purposes for the school and their dress code? This is a fancy headband.) and she was definitely a Princess.

Lawd, I love this Sugar Face. He is so tolerant when his Mama does stuff like this.

There is a plastic wine glass here at the house that I have no idea where it come from. Makenna loves to drink out of it and says she feels "all fancy" when she does. After a quick drop in at that Pier place, I thought it perfectly okay for her to have her very own real bona fide GLASS to be fancy. She, of course, adored it. *Note the kid in the background who loves to sneak in pictures.*

My reasons for living. Paige is gonna shoot me for this picture. If I disappear suddenly? You'll know why.

We were waiting for our table and I kept looking at her and marveling at how much she's grown and I just had to take a picture of the moment.

She will always be my Baby Girl.