Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Do better.

Hi! A year and a half and no posts. I'm a super consistent blogger. Go me!

Yesterday on facebook I posted "We do the best we can until we can do better." This has pretty much been my mantra in life. I am constantly trying to improve and grow while still appreciating the things I'm succeeding at. Generally that has served me well except for this one area that I suck at. I suck at partially because I never enjoyed it and I didn't care to work at it. That has changed. I still don't enjoy it but now I'm working at it. What is it?


It only took me 33 years and a couple of kids to realize that there is no organizing fairy that is going to come run my home for me. I've sucked it up and starting tackling little projects. Last night I did phase one of my closet.

Here are the horrible BEFORE pictures: 

Jumbled mess.

Basically all of the boxes are empty at this point...


Seriously Laura?



Slightly improved AFTER pictures:

Sweet. Now if only I could fit in all of these!
Going to build in some cubes for further organization
but this is a huge improvement.
Yes, boxes now contain SHOES!
No more wire hanger, all felt now.
Now clothes *hopefully* won't fall on the floor!



Thursday, January 30, 2014

My brother is awesome!

Jocelyn is turning 2 next Wednesday and we are bringing pizza to her classroom. I mentioned to my brother that I needed a flyer to hang up and within 2 hours he delivered this awesomeness!

Best Uncle Ever! 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 Year Review

Oh 2013, you were pretty good to us. The highlight was definitely little Mr. Miles joining our family.
  • Jocelyn turned 1 and has become quite the little spitfire. She runs, jumps, talks, sings and dances. Oh how she dances! Love this girl.
  • Paul worked in S. Korea for a couple weeks. Sadly this coincided with the very unexpected passing of my grandfather. I ended up in Louisiana but it allowed for this cute photo op.
  • Sold the condo/said goodbye to downtown.
  • Lived with dad- 4 adults, 2 babies, 2 dogs, and a cat in a 2 bedroom condo. Went amazingly smoothly.
  • Close on a new house and leased a new ELECTRIC car, in the SAME DAY!  (Hello future, nice to meet you!)

  • Miles was born. He is such an amazing baby. So full of laughter and love.

  • Had gallbladder surgery but I got to do fun things with my recovery! 
  • Jocelyn got tubes in her ears. OUCH. Poor baby, but now she seems to be over getting ear infections every week. YAY!
  • Jocelyn started soccer. She absolutely loves it. (she doesn't like pictures...)
  • Paul even learned to do Jocelyn's hair! 
  • Built a table. 
  • Miles got two teeth!
  • Got to see how much these two already love each other.

    I'm looking forward to seeing what 2014 has in store. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

2013 Family Holiday Photos

Let me start this post by saying that I have super talented friends: see this, this,this and many more. Another amazing example is Katie Mauer of Katie Mauer Photography. Recently we had a large family photo session with all of the local family members and these are SOME of the awesome results. We are holding a few back for holiday cards.

I can't say enough how wonderful it is to work with Katie. This is the third time Katie has officially taken photos for me and every time I'm very impressed with her work.

Thank you Katie! You take great photos. (No, this post isn't sponsored - to be honest, she doesn't know I'm doing this- I just love our photos.)

Oh, and one extra for good measure:

Sunday, December 1, 2013

My Pottery Barn Dining Table Knockoff.

I've always wanted a huge dining room table. Over the past few years I've stalked many blogs that made farmhouse tables (more specifically the Pottery Barn Benchwright). (See: Ana-White and here, Perfectly Imperfect, Contemporary Harbor and many many more.) I took in as much knowledge as I could and started forming a plan. (This plan included getting my dad on-board to help, but lucky for me he is always on-board for a building project.) All of the tables I read about were too small and they all faked the 4x4 through parts, I had to figure out how to make it nearly 9 feet long (ended up 8 feet 8 inches) and how to make the legs more legit. (Oh and for less than 300 bucks!)

I am super lucky to have such wonderful friends and family. It truly took a village to build this thing. <3

It all started in my friend Alan's cabinet shop where we (they: Alan, Dad and Chris) cut all the boards and used Alan's awesome skills to give this table an upgrade.
The upgrade started with Alan building a template.
After the template was built, Alan, Dad and Chris used a plunge router to create holes in the 4x4 legs to allow the cross piece in the legs to really go through, unlike many of the knockoffs we found. Chris gets a few bonus points for dedication to our project. He showed up in his dress clothes after a hard night of partying. :)
Then we took the boards back to our house where I began laying out the tabletop. Dad and I decided which boards worked best where. Once it was all set, I got to use my favorite building tool (the kreg jig) to drill a ton of pocket holes to join the boards together. Once the holes were all drilled, dad and I started joining boards with lots of glue and the pocket holes.

Then it looked like this! We were starting to get excited! Then I sanded. And sanded. And sanded.
And sanded a little more.

Next I started the finishing process on the bottom first:
2 coats of wood conditioner
2 coats of weathered oak
2 coats of special walnut
4 coats of poly

Then I got to do it all over again to the top.

Then to the legs...

Hey look, my turnbuckle came in the mail!!

Once the table was finished dad and Chris put the legs on. After that, they drilled holes and put the rods and turnbuckle on the bottom (that I had spray painted with a brown paint.) I got to supervise this part because Miles wanted nothing but his mommy at the time.
Holy crap it is done. We did it. We built a table.
And in time for Thanksgiving. Success!!! (14 people around that baby!)

All I can say is THANK YOU! THANK YOU! To Dad, Alan, Chris and Paul.

Paul is always a stanch supporter of my insane ideas and enables me to have the free-time to do these crazy things. Love you!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

My soccer bunny.

Jocelyn started soccer this weekend and she is absolutely adorable.
What are you looking at?

My dad is the best.

I've got this. 

Setting up for the goal.