Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas cartoon

It's my first day back at work and of course I can't concentrate, so I have been fooling around with my photo software. Kyle and I volunteer every year at the Baltimore Symphony's Holiday Spectacular show, and get our picture taken as part of the project we help with. Here is this year' a cartoon!
And the original, pre-crop and cartoon.
I hope everyone enjoys the last few days of the year and Christmastime!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Here's a picture of me with a swatch of the fabric I ordered for the curtains in the living room. When I went back to JoAnn's to order it, I found out it was actually 50% off, instead of the 40% I was expecting. So I got 15 yards at just $10 each! Now, if I can only decide what to buy with that extra $22/yard I'm saving by not buying it at the fancy upholstery shop... :-)

Gramma took the picture while she and Papa were here visiting - I'm still waiting for her to be a guest blogger and tell about their visit! C'mon, Gram!

Finally, please excuse how large my rear end appears in this picture. I've gotta ditch those jeans.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Dear Santa,

Thank you for the beautiful house that you and the Easter Bunny gave me and Kyle. We just decorated it this weekend so you'll be able to find it in 10 days! Doesn't it look nice?

This year, our family is coming to visit. I really want the house to look great for them, so we're trying to finish lots of projects before they come. We still have to finish our work on the stairs, do a little bit of painting, and hang a light. Then, we have to clean - the house is a mess right now! There is dust everywhere from drilling and sanding and sawing. And flour all over the kitchen from baking cookies for you! And then, when we're done cleaning, we have to decorate! We still need to get a tree and deck the halls - all two of them.

So, Santa, this year I'm just asking for one thing, but I need it early...can you please send me an elf to help with all this?

Love, Katie

19 months and 3 new stairs

Can anybody else say that your husband can come home after playing hockey, whip up a brand new beautiful staircase in front of your eyes, give a concise biblical history of where Christianity/Islam/Judaism split (complete with verse references), and randomly belt out tunes from the Phantom of the Opera, all in one morning?!

Kyle is quite the renaissance man, and has taught me so much during our first 19 months of marriage. Plus, he lets me cut his hair, which is really fun.
Pre-hair cut, in the wife beater. Oh, yeah.

We wanted to update the railing, newel post, and balusters, since they were all a little worse for the wear and dingy. We also wanted to change the risers from natural to white, to add a little bit of architectural interest and go a little more formal in the living room. We got more than we bargained for when Kyle took the old railing out and realized that with the new newel post which was sized slightly differently than the old one, the existing baluster holes in the treads wouldn't work. Long story short, it was easier to replace the treads (so he thought at the time) than to fix the holes.
Preparing to attack the stairs

The old treads with filled baluster holes- never quite worked out how Kyle hoped

Buh bye, old stair treads.

Welcome, new treads and newel post!

Kyle put the edging on the stairs, stained, and added the first coat of poly.

Caution: wet stain. We have perfected the art of climing up to the top of the ladder and jumping to the landing to get upstairs.

Tonight he plans on drilling the holes for the new balusters, and sanding that nasty old trim on the wall. A former resident of the house had painted right over stained wood, so the old white paint is peeling off.

In other news, we finally received the correct thermostat for our heated tile floor in the upstairs bathroom. It is AWESOME! So nice to get up in the morning and walk onto a toasty warm floor. Thanks, Kyle for having that great idea and making it work! Thanks, also, for re-grouting the tiles where I spilled red nail polish a few weeks ago, and letting me off with just one warning never to do it again. That is why I love you.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

breaking up is still hard to do

You may remember way back when we were choosing a realtor that I had to break up with a few of the ones we considered. Well, it was a good thing I gained some experience because I just had to break up with the lady at the store that we were considering having make curtains for our living room.

Paula spent a lot of time with me, in the store looking through fabric swatches, coming to the house to measure, and searching for hardware that would work in our bay window. Aah, the memories. But, like most break-ups, it came down to money.

Yup, she got greedy. The fabric I chose was $32/yd at their shop, plus about the same cost in labor per yard. Mother-in-law Margie helped me find the same stuff for $19.99/yd + 40% off at JoAnn Fabrics! So, I'll be placing an order there this Saturday and then begging my mom to make them for me. Don't worry, Mom, you'll figure out how to do the lining. You've got plenty of time to learn - after all, you are retired now.

AND I remembered that Newell Rubbermaid, where my sister works, is the parent company of several window treatment/hardware lines! So I can get the same hardware Paula wanted to sell to me for like $400 for much, much less.

Well, Paula, it's been fun, but just remember, it's not's me. (Boy does uttering that phrase remind me how happy I am to be married!)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thanksgiving Day review

Hi there- wow, I didn't realize quite how long this little break was that I just took! It wasn't intentional, I promise, I guess things just got a little busy!

We hosted Kyle's side of the family for the first Thanksgiving at our new home(9 adults and 5 of the cutest little girls you've ever seen, all 4 years old or younger) and had a wonderful time and a great meal, if I do say so myself! Here are a few of my favorite shots from the day.

Father-in-law Terry carving the turkey

The kids' table! From left to right, Kate, Emma, and Paige.

Gramma always likes to have a picture of the table - nothing too fancy here but I like the fact that we're grown up enough to have 9 people over for a holiday, and have real chairs (ok, one desk chair) for them to sit in and matching place settings!

Kate got a new angel costume from "Mimi" for the church pageant, so of course she wore it most of the day and tried to fly (from the ottoman to the couch).

We don't have many (ok, any) toys at our house so I like to let the girls use my camera. This is a shot of me and Emma, by Kate.

I knew buying a new couch for the tv room, aka Service Porch, was a good idea. Little did I know it could hold seven humans. And one duck.

We accomplished a lot of projects in preparation for Thanksgiving, and now have a few more to check off the list before my family arrives for Christmas. Nothing like company as motivation to get things done! More to come tomorrow on some of the latest.

Until then, many thanks to all of our family for a wonderful Thanksgiving! We loved having you all here!