Making our Light Pole Presentable

As we had eluded to with our Mailbox Makeover, the Light Pole upgrade was semi-soon to follow.  On Saturday morning, while David was still fast asleep (we went to Lowes and Walmart, finished this project, and polyurethaned our new mailbox post....another post on that soon....before David got up for the afternoon, ha), we were hard at housework. 

Our sad start to a before shot

Half-way through, with leveling it out to have the stone pavers in the front and then just rocks when the ground sloped too much.

Finished Product:

We love how it makes the front yard finally look all polished and cohesive.  And high-five to us for being hard at work at 9am on Saturday morning with company in town! :-)


Memorial Day visit from David

Hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day.  We actually had the fortune of David, one of my close friends from college, come in and join us for most of the weekend.  He flew in from DC on Friday afternoon and stayed through Sunday afternoon and we had a ball the entire time.

We did the Budweiser Brewery Tour...

...and then later in the evening, went to eat at the Broadway Oyster Bar.  David had never eaten crawfish before, and the Oyster Bar was having their annual Crawfish Festival, so we went and chowed down on the little mud crawlers. 

We got WAY too much food, but how do you resist crawfish cakes, crawfish po'boy, crawfish enchiladas, crawfish and alligator quiche, and steamed whole crawfish?!

Afterwards, we made our newly typical trek to Venice Cafe, and showed him around Soulard.  Fun times.

The next day was rather uneventful but still a good time.  We went over to downtown for the St Louis BBQ Festival....turned out to be a hugely expensive bust!  Spent too much for little returns.  Oh well though, it was an experience.  (Funny side note, Memorial Day weekend is apparently a ridiculous wedding weekend, at least here in StL.  In a 1 mile radius, we saw 8 bridal parties.  David was HIGHLY amused by this)
We went down to Laclede's Landing on the way home and stopped in a few spots, but then headed home for the evening for Saturday Night Steak Night.  Sarah came and joined, and Terry's meal was delicious as usual (Filet, asaragus, and bleu cheese mashed potatoes). 

So glad that David came out to visit us!  It gets lonely at times out here in the middle of nowhere, and it's always awesome to have those friends that even though it's been over a year since we've been together, that it feels like no time was missed. 


Well that was Anticlimactic (but I'm not complaining)

All tornadoes went by without any major issues. 

We had a few major limbs from the tree in the backyard fall out, but they seemed to already be dead. I take it that the tornadoes were just pruning the things we couldn't reach.  So thoughtful. 

We got a ton of rain.  It's going to be a week and a foot of grass before we can get the mower of the lawn without the tires sinking in the soggy ground.  Excited for that.

There was hail in the city the size of golf balls and some as large as oranges.  Hearing this on the news made Terry angry he didn't get to go golfing.  It just made me hungry. 

But being serious, it had all the potential to be awful, and we were very lucky that it decided otherwise.  Thanks for all the phone calls and the concern and the keeping us in your thoughts.  It helped.  Well, it helped my anxiety, it didn't help divert the tornadoes, although how could would that be. 



Tornado Update

Not looking good folks....not looking good at all.  Hopefully it will still just stay to the slight south of us for the greatest risked area for tornadoes and we will just get the awful thunder, lightning, hail, and wind.  I'll take all that over a tornado any day!


Enough already Mother Nature!!

Anticipated outlook for tomorrow:

Guess who's not going to get a lot of sleep tonight....
Updates to come, but please send good karma, or work your voodoo, or put in your blessings that we don't get taken away to the Land of Oz with Dorothy (Terry will be my Toto though, ha)


Dining Room: Finished!

It's 100% done!!!

All that has been left for us to do in the dining room is hang the curtains over the window, and this weekend, we finally knocked out the 20-minute task.  Now our dining room is officially finished!!  What's a Finished Project post without a few Before & After (and during the process) pictures.  You've seen it all unfolding here, here, here, and here, but here's the full recap.

We bought the house with the dining room like this (yes, kinda hard to believe that we could get past the color):

We repainted (awww, you can see in the kitchen that we still had the boat-light chandelier up and the wood paneling in the living room...funny).

We pulled up the carpet...

Terry sanded and re-stained the floors.
We put up chair rail and floor trim.

We got rid of the eye-sore chandelier from the previous picture and installed this beauty.  

And this weekend, we finally hung the curtains (I know, I need to take them down and iron them flat.  It's not noticeable in person but the picture sure does show the creases off!)

I'm so proud of the work that went into this room.  It's so elegant but also still very "us", with just being cozy and a place you want to spend time.  Quite remarkable to see the before to the after. 


Hanging Bookshelf Revisited

The hanging bookshelf that I originally showed a LONG TIME AGO (August last year...oops) has finally made an appearance on my radar of things to accomplish.

As a refresher....I'm making my own version of this:

It has been a very long and drawn out process. A few months back, I cut all of my pieces for the project (only two instances of blocks flying 300mph across the garage...funny now...not so amusing then), drilled all the holes for the string to flow through, and set them happily in the Lowes bag pictured below. And that's where they've sat since.  They smile at me everyday as I walk out the garage, and finally on Saturday, I grew the courage to dive in.
I originally started by living on the edge and putting out 3 cardboard squares in the living room for the staining.

I immediately sissy'ed out and put plastic underneath because the thought of a spill and the recourse from Terry was not worth my previously mentioned edge-living.
 I did a pre-stain on all the blocks to make sure I would get an even stain across the wood....no one wants to see a blotchy wood block.  Or maybe it's just me.
 Then I started in on the staining.  Right now I have three different stain variations and I'm liking the results.  I still have no idea how many blocks I actually need to complete the shelf, but I'm flying by the seat of my pants and hoping for the best.  This is how it still sits in the living room, where I have been intending to work on it every night while watching TV....but instead I'm snuggled up with T.  I'll get it together and continue the move-to-completion this weekend (FINGERS CROSSED). 


Family is my favorite thing

Just a few of the great captures on the quick in and out stop in Delaware after the cruise.  All the girls just keep growing and growing and growing even though Every Time I Go Home I tell them they have to stay the same size! 

I love going back to visit!  <3 <3 <3


Mailbox Makeover

Our mailbox landscaping has been in dire need of an upgrade.  Last weekend we delivered, and on the super-cheap too!  The total budget came in at just under $40, and I would say it was definitely a value-added and super quick and easy project. 

The poor, pathetic before shots

 Our mailbox flower just wasn't happy, all laying sideways and not knowing if she should hang out with the grass or not.

She was a bit spiteful with us at her area's mediocrity that she wouldn't full-out bloom.

Then we (mainly Terry...I just helped with lugging the pavers) made ourselves a fancy little mailbox space.   It took quite a bit of time scoping the perfect curve and size, but we are more than happy with the final outcome!

Even the flower is happy with her upgrade.  :-)

The light post is next....we just ran out of pavers :-)



It was a lovely vacation!  We sailed out of Bayonne, NJ Saturday afternoon, and for the 5 days we were away (a day and a half at sea to get there, 2 days on Bermuda, and a day and half back), we couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather. 
Travel companions were Kristen, Tim and Amy, Tim's parents as well two of Kristens cousings,  Jim and Jerry.

With this being my first Royal Caribbean cruise, they definitely made the experience one that I wish to have again with them in the future. Our room was the largest in comparison to any of the other cruises I have been on. It didn't feel cramped like usual, and more than enough room for two girls getting primped and ready at the same time each night :-) The food was wonderful, and the staff was top-notch. I bet you're guessing what's coming now......Yup!  Some of the food highlight shots (I won't bore you with ALL of them that I took!)

The first night was just getting acquainted with the ship. It was enormous, and even that is an understatement. There was a Promenade that felt like you were walking down a street. Then, miniature put-put course, full-court basketball (and they turned it into volleyball as well), rock climbing wall, restaurants, 3 clubs, 2-story gym and spa, a solarium, and those are just all the things I'm thinking of off the top of my head.

The At-Sea days were perfect. Both days I found myself the perfect little nook on the sun-deck soaking up the sun and reading. It was a fun dynamic with all of us in that we each went and did our own thing, but we always met up for meals and for activities throughout. Kristen seemed to always be sleeping in the room (what a teenager), Amy and Grandma were winning big money at Bingo, Tim was wing-man for everyone's activities, Grandpa was walking the ship, and the boys were up on the basketball court.

We had our formal evening the first At-Sea night, and I must say, we all cleaned up well! Then we went to the stage production in the Theatre.
My first true experience of really feeling old happened on this trip and this night, because spending the evening with a 17yr old, 16yr old, and a 14yr old wandering around the ship makes a 26yr old feel like a grandma.


Our time in Bermuda was amazing.  The first day, we spent the entire morning/afternoon snorkeling.  My mask wasn't working at first so that killed about 45 minutes of swim-time, but once I got set-up, I didn't want to stop.  It ended up that Tim and I were out for about 2 hours, but it felt like 20 minutes.  He has an underwater camera, so he got amazing pictures of fish and coral.  When I get them, I'll post again.  I was just amazed by the coral though.  Never seen anything like it.  Fluorescent purple fans, neon yellow and orange brain coral, sea cucumbers, coral that looked like upside down dred-locks.  And while the fish weren't as vivid as Hawaii or Bahamas, we got to see schools together all moving in unison through the coral.  It was wild.
This was our snorkeling and beach honey-hole.  We were out past the farthest canoe.

In the afternoon, Kristen and I took a trolley and went shopping in Kings Wharf.  It was very much a tourist mall, but it was interesting talking to locals and seeing their currency.

The second day we went over and explored Hamilton, their Capital.  I took off for a little while by myself to go check up the north shore from Hamilton.  It was about a mile walk up, but it was breath-taking the whole way.  Churches, butterfly fields, a road with an enormous rock-tunnel, and all the homes in their bright pastel beauty.  The view on the north shore was worth the hike.

Overall, it was an incredible trip.  I'm so glad that I was given the opportunity to join in on all the fun.  I always have such a great time when I'm with them.  I wonder what part of the world we'll explore together next?!