Monday, October 26, 2015

Counters: Before

So finally!! After living in utter destruction for a week or so, after coming home from Canada in July, to living in semi-craziness until the flooring was down in August, we've been living in semi-comfort - somewhat normally since then.
Except for the countertops. We decided to go with a natural stone (granite), and with Brian's work connections we were able to pick "end of" material. Extra/leftovers from other jobs, and the price (although still a lot), is incredibly cheaper than normal pricing. But we just had to scour through their lot and find something we liked, that was a big enough piece to be cut for what we needed.
Having no water/sink in the kitchen is...not very fun. Although not impossible - still - not fun. I starting buying baby wipes for little spills, and we ate everything off paper plates and throw away cutlery - so I only had to wash the main dishes/pots/etc.
Not sure how many people can say they had to unclog their shower drain catcher from cilantro, but I can:-) And really, cilantro is way less gross than hair, so there's that.
These are a few of the before pics. I snapped these and the above video on Wednesday morning, right before the 1pm install of the new counter, and sink!

My dishwashing system - laundry baskets collect dirty dishes, and then we carry them to the tub for washing - and then back to the kitchen to be put away.

So this was Wednesday!! I'll post pics of the gorgeous new counters as soon as I get some nice pics!

Stewie Loves VA

The backstory in brief detail: Andrew moved to Virginia to attend "our seminary" (that was started by our church), and Brian hired him to work in the shop while in school. They became friends working together:-) And Andrew, who has an extremely deep voice, was nicknamed Stewie by everyone at work, because of the baby on Family Guy with a grown up voice. And it totally stuck. And then Stewie met Virginia, and that was the beginning of their love story...He's only been here in VA for 1 year, and has already married VA;-)

They had a wonderful day! The wedding was held at Virginia's parents home, in our old 'hood in Norfolk. Everything about it was perfect.

Guess who made all the cupcakes/gluten free "naked cake" for them to cut? (Bride is gf)

The program:

All the bread and butter was put out on this table. The dinner was a "soup bar" with many different soups and breads. It was really yummy!

The Gf Naked Cake!
They danced to Ed Sheeran's Thinking Out Loud. Looove.

Just pronounced Man and Wife! You could see the JOY on her face!!! Stewie looked as cool as a cucumber - at this moment. He cried pretty much through the whole ceremony - Brian said it was just allergies. I said, oh sure, "allergies". It was super sweet.

See my handsome groomsman? He was, unbiased opinion naturally, the best looking one;-)

The kiss
Half of these pics I stole from fb - as always I neglected to get any while the event was happening. (half of these I stole from FB). It was a CRAZY whirlwind weekend, as I was helping with everything from the rehearsal luncheon, to making all the wedding desserts, and then I also did Va's makeup for the wedding. I haven't been so tired in awhile actually - 8pm could've been midnight, or that's what it felt like anyway. But it was so fun. And so nice to see two great people get married and start their life together.

I neglected to get any pics of Brian, or he and I together, though, I thought we looked pretty good! ;-) I know they'll be pics of him when the official ones come out, since he was in the wedding and all. This is the only pic taken of me that night.
Friends: Melody, me, Elizabeth (& baby), Amy & Chae.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Mixed Media Art - Complete!

Well, I finished her! I was really impressed with myself on this one - she was flat plain paper (I traced her from a guide online), and I gave her dimension and painted on her hair;-)
Mixed media means you use just about every craft supply in Michaels. Lucky for my wallet, I already owned most of these, thanks to my other adventures and projects.
It took me awhile to get it all finished, but I was definitely working in stages. All told, it's probably 8hrs worth of time (not including paint drying time etc of course)

I just kept adding and adding and adding, until it felt right. And then I hit a point where I felt like I might be taking it over board, and should likely just stop.
It's hard to capture on camera, but I really love the dimension that exists on the canvas. 
I am totally in love with how it turned out. TOTALLY.
Though, not quite ready to throw myself into making another one;-) Although I am sort of inspired, I also can't draw, so I do have to find figures to trace online. I did however paint some of these things free hand, totally a first for me. And yes, I googled how to paint branches and grass, so I didn't mess it up:-)

I "hid" a few words in the painting, sunshine, smile, joy, rest, dream and fly. Happy, whimsy, and just fitting for this piece I think!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Art Work

Brian's had a lot of late nights with work recently. So I decided to try my hand at mixed media art. "Mixed media" meaning it's all kinds of art, combined. It's paint, paper, texture, glue, stamps, wax crayons, etc all in one! This is not finished yet, but it's coming along! I still have more to add and tweak, but it's starting to turn out very well, I think!!

Hurricanes and Aquariums

So, there were about 7000 models showing Hurricane Joaquin making landfall, and only 1 showing it being pulled East, out to sea. And that ONE was correct. We woke up Saturday to the sun shining in the windows, no rain, no wind - it was nice! Since it had been raining for a solid week beforehand, football had already been cancelled because of the muddy we had a free day! Brian had to go into work, and I decided to surprise the kids with something we've never done before - The Aquarium.
I loved this room, with water on all sides/above you! It's really cool!
We were given a 1 year membership to the Aquarium recently (Wow and yay!, so grateful), but I hadn't told the kids that yet. It seemed like the perfect day to check it out!
It was a dark room, but that is a huuuuge alligator. Grey loved him

Shark tank!

Shark bait:-)

They had a pool full of sting rays where you could put your hand/arm in and pet them. I naturally did not do this, but the kids did. I think only Brooks claims to have touched a bit of one. They didn't seem to want to come too close to us this time.

There's a person!

It's kind of like a "limited zoo", with marine life, lizards, turtles, birds and frogs and such. Unfortunately nothing cute or adorable

Chesapeake Bay 

We climbed the lookout tower, and saw a heron

The lookout tower presented me with two of my biggest fears: Stairs without "backs" and see-thru stairs.
I couldn't not look down, yet was very dizzy, and definitely clinging to that railing pretty good. It was a lot of stairs! Going up is no problem, it's the coming down that's terrifying

They have an adventure park "in the sky", where you tie onto the ropes course and have all kinds of fun. It's an additional cost, and the kids seem a little young for it at this point, but it looks awesome for the future!
 Grey loved the Aquarium best of all, and declared "I will never get bored or tired of this place!"
Grey, taking a River Otter for a "walk". It followed him as he walked back and forth across the glass.
On the way to the Aquarium, we drove through bits of town we really never go past - and found something great. I had no idea that there was a Steak and Shake here!! I treated the kids on the way home. I hadn't been to one since my Chicago days (in the 90's!)
This kid has a very acute 'dominion sensor' - he gets this from his Daddy. He also can put on a mood - he gets that from his Mom;-) I "accidentally" reached over and ate some of his food (that he really had no intention of eating until I touched it). Then suddenly he was unable to eat it because I "scribbed it up" and it wasn't *exactly* as it had been. He sat there for a few seconds with his sad face on, refusing to look at me, and a french fry hanging out of his mouth, "unable" to chew it, in protest. I gave him about 3 seconds to make a better decision, meanwhile continuing to eat his fries (HAHAHA!). He chose to make a wise decision and change his attitude, and voluntarily gave his family the rest of his untouched food, because it really was too much for him:-) Parenting challenges never cease. And naturally I snapped a picture, like all good moms;-)
And about the Hurricane - so grateful it didn't hit us. Because of all the other rain we've been getting, it really would have been a disaster. Half of Norfolk is under water in high tide, and schools have been cancelled. The flooding is really bad. Adding more rain and wind to that would have really done a lot of damage, so we're glad it didn't hit land!