Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sayonara, Pink

And, now, for the moment we've all been waiting for.  The dirty flesh pink is no more.  Goodbye, and good riddance!  If anyone is in the market for such a lovely shade of flesh, we've got about 4 extra gallons in our basement that we'll give you...because we're generous like that.  So, come on, don't all shout at once...

Here's one last glimpse of the beaut.


NOW, here she is, in all her glory.  The green machine.

**The side and back windows will be painted red, matching the front of the house, as well as the back french doors.

This project has actually been a long and drawn out one, because of how much prep work was required.  It wasn't as simple as just slapping some paint up and calling it good.  There's a reason the bid to paint our house was $4,500 (Gulp.  Gasp.  And, hell to the no.  We'll do it ourselves, thankyouverymuch.)  Brett and our wonderful Chippy did some carpentry work, which took a couple weekends in and of itself.  If you will notice on the front side of the house, there are two brand spankin' new columns that add a nice little touch, AND each and every corner of our house has the contrast corners, which majorly cleans things up.  Additionally, our siding was in very poor shape, thus requiring a lot of TLC (and cursing).  The actual painting process took two days, thanks to Chip and Laura; otherwise, it would have taken several weekends.  Chip was (as always) incredibly helpful and instrumental, serving as Brett's work buddy, and Lolo watched Scout the whole time, and fed us at the end of the day (can you say Queen??).  We are so, so, so grateful for our incredible family, and the endless help and support they offer.  We are also incredibly grateful for the person who invented the paint sprayer.  I could just kiss him, in fact.  The mere thought of rolling the whole job is enough to send me into a schizophrenic rage. 

Many, many weekends...and hours...and 500 tubes of caulk...later, here we are.  We no longer drive up to our house, muttering, "What a dump."  No!  We drive up and think, "We're home!!!"  Brett and I aren't going to know what to do with ourselves with so much free time!  Any suggestions?  What is life like without looming house projects?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Slow Progression

Our home has been an evolution, as you well know.  We have a constant lineup of projects.  Our yard was secondary to the inside of our home, but now that the inside is pretty much complete, until we decide to remodel the whole darn thing again, we can be found working in our yard until the sun sets.  And...I'm really not exaggerating.  Because B and I have bouts of discouragement, fearing we will never be done, and that we are making no progress toward a comfortable yard, it seems essential for us to look back.  Searching for some "before" pics has served as great affirmation: we truly have come a long way.

Stage 1--giant Siberian Elm that and Fir needed to be felled (is that right?)

Stage 2--tree debris needed to be cleaned up, and removed from our yard


Stage 3--all ivy and wildness was scraped clean 
Stage 4--NOW!  Our garden is flourishing, and it makes my heart leap.
I planted a few different seed packs, which has been incredibly fun to find popping up throughout our garden.  I also ordered several dahlia tubers from these guys, thanks to this girl, and I couldn't be happier.  I go out twice, if not three times a day to see the sweet blooms.  I have LOVED the revolving door of fresh cut flowers in our house!

Sadly, another tree is needing to go.  This Douglas Fir's days are numbered.  Oh, we go again.

The front yard went through a similar evolution, though on a much smaller scale than the backyard.

Stage 1--fall the sad Maple

Stage 2--clear all the debris, live with a mud pit, plant barley and oats that tricks neighbors into believing it's a lawn (and let it grow to 3 feet before mowing it), let it die and turn to yellow weeds, and be embarrassed to claim house as ours. 
 Stage 3--Andrea finally gets impatient and all willy-nilly with a shovel, and starts carving the crap out of the "lawn", (im)patiently awaiting Brett to board the crazed ship, but go out of town for a month with yard even more of a disaster than with the earlier weed patch.

Stage 4--Brett finally gets on board, and ultimately teaches the yard (and his wife) a lesson, and busts out the irrigation, and that (effing) path.  Brett and Andrea go to bed angry for almost an entire week out of frustration that the (effing) path will not cooperate, and we again fear that our yard will never be completed...ever.  Brett finishes the path out of pure spite.  We high five, kiss and make up, and do laps up and down our gravel path.  Brett learns supreme lesson that his wife is always right.
Annnd we utilized free rock that we acquired down the street, thanks to the "free rock" sign that old Eagle Eye spotted.  The Zundel motto is "If it's free it's for me."
 And we live happily ever after, with great anticipation of being Garden of the Month.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Grass Most Definitely IS Greener

I used to avoid looking outside our dining room window because...well...because, frankly, it gave me a headache.  All I saw was chaos, and though I liked the natural light the window offered, I sort of hated that it also reminded me of the seemingly endless work to be done.  Ugh!  One. Thing. At. A. Time.  We started in the back left "quadrant" (note: I call everything a "quadrant", which drives Brett nuts.  He questions if I know the meaning of the word.  I do.  But I still use the word very liberally, and kinda sorta just to get Brett's goat), and began trying to tame the beast.  We started small, and have slowly expanded outward.  Slowly, but surely, as if by magical powers, our yard has begun to take shape! Presto!  Cue the green lawn! And the wild blonde dog enjoying said lawn.  Poof!
Having a spot in our yard to go and SIT has been so wonderful.  Who knew the simple act of sitting in our lawn would bring me such joy?!  And add in my now-walking-daughter to the equation: pure delight. 
Along with the growth of our lawn, our vegetables have also joined the party.  We are going to have veggies coming out of our ears (or, out the "wing wong", as my sweet sister, Hanna, says.  I recently informed my 23-year old sister that it's actually "yin-yang").  It has been incredibly fun seeing all the color bursting forth in our yard, other than brown.  There's a promise of life.  Sigh.  I'm starting to get exceptionally excited about the abundance of tomatoes soon to come.  Bring it.

Being that Scout's name is Scout, it makes perfect sense in my brain that she would love being outside.  Whether or not her name has anything to do with it, there's truth in her utter enjoyment of the outdoors.  If she starts to show signs of stir-craziness, we just take her outside, and suddenly all seems okay in her world.  Having our little grassy spot to play in has been heavenly because now we can actually set her down and let her explore. 
Brett was on "Daddy Daycare" the other morning while I was working, and this is what the two of them were up to.  It melted my heart seeing Brett pulling Scouty around in her little red wagon (her "schooner" as B has recently been calling it), and erecting the crazy red play set (note B's red trunks.  I didn't get the memo) with the slide that doubles as a climbing gym.  Scout loves her daddy, and it is very apparent how much Brett loves his girl.  He loved her as a baby, of course, but now that she's actually "doing things" he's even more excited.  They're little buddies, which I absolutely love.  Scout's existence makes B's voice travel to octaves I never knew were in his range, as he repeatedly says, "Scouty DOODY" followed by an "ooooh-Hooo-HOOOO-HOOOOOOOOOOOO!) in an attempt to make her laugh, at which he always succeeds.

 I can't get enough of this sweet girl.  Obviously.  I delight in her.  Simply put. 

**Note: Brett just read my post and still questions my understanding of the word "quadrant."

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Brett and I no longer have a 3 month old, or a 7 month old, or an 11 month old, for that matter.  We have a ONE year old!  A freaking ONE YEAR OLD.  How absurd!!  I didn't think I'd be one of those know, the ones who weep at each passing phase, in a completely melodramatic fashion.  Pssshhhh.  No way.  But, alas...I most definitely am one of those moms.  I'm totally owning it.  Okay, so I haven't wept, but let's just say my tear ducts work well.  Too well.
Brett Jr.

Scout Von Trapp

One year ago Scout and Hadley came into our world, on the  I still find myself shaking my head in amazement at this wild and crazy fact.  What are the chances?!  This being the case, it seems only fitting to celebrate both girls, together.  So long as Kacey and I have a say, this will be the first of many joint parties! We celebrated on Saturday, the day before their actual birthday, at a park here in town.  It was special celebrating our girls together.  

I am reminded time and time again how wonderful it is living near family.  I especially love that Scout and Hadley are getting a sister-like experience straight away.  What a special relationship they are destined to have.

Alan, Kacey & Hadley
Grammy T & Scouty
Busha and her girls
Nana & Papa and their girls

As with any good first birthday party, the cake was definitely the highlight.  Hadley and Scout went about their cake consumption in entirely different ways, which is very appropriate for these two.   As the pictures show, Hadley was still in her sweet little outfit that her mama made her (her lederhosen awesomeness), whereas I stripped Scout down to her diaper, not wanting to soil the cute little dress that her Nana & Mama made.  As it turns out Mama knows best in both of these scenarios.  Hadley was very ginger with her cake approach.  She gently and slowly scooped icing into her mouth, leaving her cake completely intact.  To my knowledge she didn't get any cake on her cute outfit, or her highchair tray, for that matter. 

Scout, on the other hand, made quick work of that cake.  Once she tasted the forbidden fruit, it was game time.  She was up to her elbows in frosting lickity-split, and the whole side of her face managed to make full contact with the cake.  Her cake was pretty well smashed and smeared.

Once Scout was cut off from the cake, I worried that I had sugar-poisoned my daughter, as she had a temporary case of the crazies.  She was instantly slap-happy.  The good news is there was no stomach-pumping required, just a good rinse-down, which her daddy happily took care of. 

All in all, the first birthday party was a success!!

On Sunday, Scout and Hadley's actual birthday, Brett and I kicked off the celebration in the totally normal way: we watched Scout's birth video!! was not Brett's idea.  In fact, he was incredibly reluctant to participate in the viewing, but he succumbed.  I know, I know, we totally know how to have an epic time.  Let the record reflect that both Brett and I had a good cry.  What a way to start the day! In all honesty, it was so touching reliving the sweetness of the moment that Scout came into our world.

As our final celebratory event, we had dinner at Alan & Kacey's, with Nana & Papa.  We sang to the girls again, with a candle in a leftover cream puff.  Hadley thoroughly hammed it up, while Scout was a little bashful about the whole thing.   These two girls crack us up on a constant basis.  To say they bring us joy is an extreme understatement.

Finally, perhaps to no surprise after such ardent celebrating, our evening concluded with Scouty Doody and a case of Too Much Birthday.