Monday, June 5, 2017

California Trip - Photo Dump!

Hey there!

As you probably already know, Kurt and I spent Memorial Day Week in sunny California!

We headed out there for a concert festival called Bottle Rock.  Earlier this year, I was telling Kurt how much I wanted to see Modest Mouse in concert, as they've become one of my favorite bands.  And at the time, the only show they were playing was Bottle Rock in Napa Valley.  So, being the wonderful man that he is, Kurt bough us tickets to three days worth of shows!  (Awesome, right?!)

While we were there, we decided to take a day trip down to San Francisco, because there was a ferry boat not far from our hotel.   So, we walked the Golden Gate Bridge, ate Dim Sum in Chinatown, and strolled through some record stores in the Haight-Ashbury district!  To say that it was a wonderful trip would be an understatement!  We also got the chance to have lunch with one of the field folks I work with on a day to day basis.  (It is so nice to finally be able to put a face with the voice!)

We also got to do some hiking, and ate TONS of great food!  OH!  And we went to an antique mall in a little strip (near the Del Taco we went to for breakfast lol) and ended up finding a GOLDMINE!  So. Many. Records.  If we'd driven instead of flying, we probably would've bought literally dozens of albums!  This was the first time I'd ever seen a copy of Dark Side of the Moon in the wild! Even though I have a reissue, you can bet that I snatched that thing up!  We also went to an Amoeba records--and if you ever have a chance, they have to be one of the best record chains around. Like, the store was so big, it was hard to know where to even begin!  Kurt walked away with a pretty fat stack there haha.  It's always a little funny to me how we both love music, but our tastes just don't overlap that much. We can spend hours in the same store, and both walk away with things the other person would never pick up.  But it's kind of nice, because it means that we both get to listen to things we never would have without the other.  :)  Which has lead to learning about tons of new bands!

So now, it's wedding week!

I think that everything is done, and if it's not, does it really need to be done?  haha I hope not.  But we'll find out!!  T-5 DAYS.  This is really happening, and I'm feeling so excited, happy, and truly blessed.  Insert heart eyes faces here!


Modest Mouse - Missed the Boat

Pink Floyd - Time

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Front Yard Updates

Hey There Everyone!

This week/end we've been hard at work!  It's taken a while, but we finally got the front porch all squared away!  You may remember, that for the last few weeks, we've been ripping up carpet, scrubbing, cement etching, patching cement, and now finally--painting!  :D 

The porch was looking pretty shabby, even after all of that.  But then.....

Oh yeah.  Dirt footprints aside, this looks soooooo much better, right?!  Right.  Painting the floor went so quickly, I can't believe it took us so long to make time for it!

Back there in the corner, you can see the beginnings of our next project!

We picked up loooooaaaaaads of flowers...

And poor Kurt spent HOURS planting.


So.  Good.  

We planted a combination of annuals, perennial, and bushes.  We figure in a few years, all the roses will grow together, and so will the boxwoods!  :)

We also spent the weekend grilling, and hanging out with our friends and family.  All in all, the sunburns were totally worth it!


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Wedding Updates :)

Hey Everyone!

It's been a little while since I've shared any wedding updates, so it feels like it's time!

I know that I haven't shared much in the way of wedding details, and I have to admit that that has been pretty intentional.  We're 37 days from the big day, and we're starting to get really excited!  I'm sure some of you will read that and think, what the heck?! Well, that's part of why I haven't shared much.

We've decided to have a very small, private, family only ceremony--which will take place in June.  And we'll have a large reception for everyone we know in August.  I know that might be disappointing for some people, but we just felt like that was the right thing to do for us.

We talked to a lot of people when we were starting the planning process, and heard the same things from so many people.  The day is a blur.  You don't remember who was there anyway.  You'll be lucky to get anything to eat the entire day.  And none of that appeals to us!  In fact, some of that sounds downright terrible.

The best way for us to have our special day, is to keep the crowd to a minimum, and split the events into two parts. I think that anyone who knows us will know that really, both Kurt and I are a little shy, and tend to be pretty private about things.  To feel like ourselves, we don't want to have hundreds of eyes on us. We accept that we have to be the center of attention for one day, but if that's the case, we require less attention for centering.

So, we sent out a baker's dozen of invites.  If you didn't get one, I hope you understand, and please reach out to us if we've upset you.  That was never our intention.  We hope you'll join us to celebrate in August.  If you did get one, send it your RSVP would ya?!  When there aren't many of you, I can't help but keep a running list of who hasn't responded....


In happier news, I think we have everything except shoes for both of us, and a shirt for Kurt done for the wedding!  This weekend I started working on pew decorations. I'm not 100% sure about them, but I think that they're pretty cute?  Stacey has been ordained.  We filled out the marriage certificate application.  I really feel like we're getting close here!

Sorry these pictures aren't great...that's a record on the back lol in case that wasn't clear  :P 

There are probably things that I'm forgetting, but I'm counting on either remembering them, or them not being that important. Ya know?  We have each other, and that's what matters :)


Seth Avett version --Fish and Bird

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Is it Friday yet?

Hey there everyone,

Is it just me, or does this week feel like there have already been 25 days in it? Maybe it's because the weather is getting nicer, and going to work feels like more of a chore?  Maybe it's because Kurt has been away on business the last two nights, and the cats are terrible?  Maybe I'm just getting old and curmudgeonly?  It's probably a combination of all of the above.

Even with Kurt gone, I surprisingly haven't gotten a ton done.  Really, I've just been doing the boring home maintenance things, like cleaning the bathroom, and trying to catch up on laundry.  As a side note--how can only two of us make so much laundry?!

This weekend, we finished up the new flowerbeds out front.  They're empty, but looking good!!

I can't believe that we used 50 bags of top soil, and we're still going to need a few more!  But, it's totally worth it, and makes a HUGE difference in the look of the front of the house.

This weekend we also ripped up the carpet from the front porch.  (What can I say?  I really love ripping up carpet apparently).  I didn't take any pictures of that process, because honestly, it was so disgusting.  Don't get me wrong, since it's outside, I didn't expect it to be clean, but dang, it was nasty.  Once I get the porch into slightly better shape I'll update with some photos.  :)

I think our only other house news is that we went to Lowes, and potentially picked out a new front door! I'm still waiting for someone to come out and measure, to see what size we need to order, but we're pretty excited about that! The front of the house is going to look infinitely better than when we moved in!  :D

Last week Kurt's wonderful mother got us a grill as an early wedding present.  Kurt has been working on perfecting cooking ribs!

  I think he's getting pretty darn good!  Also, in case you're wondering, we have been eating ribs off of Christmas cookie trays.  They're the only thing big enough for all those ribs, plus sides.  #noshame

This weekend Kurt's family is coming to the house to visit for the first time, and we have engagement photos scheduled for Saturday evening!  I guess that means I really do have to keep tidying up the house over the next few days...I should work on that.


When we were in Chicago, I picked up an Al Scorch album.  This guy can play the banjo like nobody's business!   He's a little dark, but I kinda like that.  Like, a punk rock banjo album.

Al Scorch - I love you cause you're perfect

Monday, April 17, 2017

Happy Birthday Weekend to Me!

Well everyone, I've made it around the sun one more time!  It seems like a lot of years, my birthday has come and gone, but not much has changed.  This year has definitely been the exception!!

Here are the highlights from the last year:

  • Bought a house
  • Met Kurt
  • Did a bunch of work on the hosue
  • Went to Niagara Falls
  • Went to Denver
  • Burnt the house down
  • Went to the Grand Canyon
  • Dealt with a remodel
  • Did a toooooon more work on the house
  • Moved back and forth from the apartment
  • Got engaged
  • Yard work, yard work, yardwork
  • More housework 
  • Planned a wedding (YAY!)

Even just taking a quick inventory of the year's events really reminds me how incredibly lucky I am, in so so many ways!  Sure, there were times that things felt pretty crappy, but looking back, through it all, I knew that everything would work out for the best.  

This weekend was yet another in a long list of fantastic weekends that Kurt has planned for us!   For my birthday, Kurt got us VIP tickets to see The Zombies in Chicago!  In case I haven't mentioned lately: he's wonderful.  

We had AWESOME seats, and got to go into the show early.  Plus, we got some sweet autographed coffee table books, posters, and other fabulous prizes! 

We also got to send to spend some time shopping, hitting a few record stores, and eating tasty deep dish pizza!  

Saturday, we headed over to Navy Pier, to see the new Rolling Stones exhibit--Exhibitionism.  I'll admit that historically, we're not the biggest Stones fans (though we did see the biggest fans there, dressed in their head to toe garb). but it was a really awesome exhibit!  There's no denying the huge impact that the band has had on the entire music industry! It was really interesting to see their history chronicled. It's really kind of crazy to see their full body of work, all spread out in front of you.  Afterwards, Kurt and I both agreed that we should probably make more of an effort to get to know the Stones, and maybe even try to make it to one of their shows.  Can you believe those guys are in their 70's and 80's and are still doing world tours?! Heck, I'm only 28, and I'm not sure I could make it through a world tour! 

Finally, yesterday we headed down to Aunt Nancy and Uncle Jim's to celebrate family Easter.  

We got to hang out with the fam, play some cards, eat way too much food, and had a really good time!  Oh!  And Kurt held a baby for the first time!  It was a super exciting weekend all around!  :D

I know that the last year was a really great one, and I can't wait to see what the coming year will bring for all of us! 


Monday, April 10, 2017

Another Busy Weekend!

Hey Everyone!

Whew, it was another busy weekend!  I stopped and looked at the calendar, and I cannot believe that we're almost half way through April!  Seriously--where does the time go?!

We had another crazy productive weekend!  I absolutely could not believe everything that we were able to finish!

Friday after work, it was such a nice day--as I'm sure you'll all remember :)   I ran over to Martins to talk to their florist, and get a quote for wedding flowers.  Then I popped into Menards, and picked up an edger, because I really wanted to work on the area where the lawn has overgrown into the sidewalk.  This is what the thing looks like.   But since it was so nice, Kurt wanted to try his hand at digging a trench for bricks to line the flower bed.   Remember way back last summer when I bought a car full of landscaping bricks?  Well it was finally time to put them to use!

So, Kurt decided to give the edger a try along the front of the house.  And in about an hour, we realized that this was definitely the right tool for the job!

 He was able to zip through it so quickly!  We had the whole trench dug, in no time at all!  Then we had to go to Lowes to get some sand to put in before the bricks.  And we really needed dinner lol

So Saturday afternoon, Kurt dropped in the sand, and I went behind dry fitting the bricks!

We managed to get two courses of bricks done before we ran out.  We ended up taking the north end of the house (on the right in the picture) out further than we'd planned, so we ran out.  Then we decided that we'd really rather that the whole thing was three bricks high--especially since we had to order more bricks anyway.  Luckily bricks were on sale 4/$1 this weekend.  So Kurt ordered 80 more bricks, and something like 50 bags of dirt for the flower bed!   We opted to have Lowes deliver.  Even though all that would fit in the Fit, if I can get out of loading it, it's worth it to me!  Haha

On Saturday morning, we headed to Fort Wayne.  We picked up Kurt's wedding suit from being altered, and did a little shopping!  Kurt picked out a new comforter for us at BBB, and then we headed over to his mom's house for lunch.  :)

On Sunday, since we didn't have any more bricks or dirt, we decided to put together our new bed.  We decided a few weeks ago that if we want to get a dog, we needed a King sized bed to fit everyone.  The problem is, our stairs are so narrow, we didn't know how we'd get a King up the stairs?  (I assume you all remember us having to saw the Queen box springs in half to get them up the stairs.)

After some searching, we were able to find a pretty simple solution: vacuum packed mattress.  Here's what they look like    It sounds kind of crazy, but we figured with almost 8,000 awesome reviews, it couldn't be that bad?  So, we ordered the mattress, and a platform bed frame (because we were tired of dealing with box springs by this point in time lol).  

I didn't know if we were going to be able to get the mattress up the stairs--because that sucker was heavy!  Seriously, I had no idea that 112 lbs between two people would be so miserable.  But eventually we got it upstairs.  After a day to fluff up, we assembled the bed!

Taaa daaa!  It looks totally normal, and amazingly, it's a comfortable as all the reviews said!  Plus, both of the cats slept in bed with us last night, and that's what really matters!

After a long day of yard work, mowing/trimming, tearing apart the old bed, and a trip to the recycling center, this was just the break we needed!  Oh, and I replaced the toilet seat.  If you haven't heard of no-slam seats, you should google it.  It sounds silly--but they're a game changer!

All in all, it was a really great weekend.  I really love working on projects with Kurt.  I like the way he gets excited about things, and thinks things through. And he's always so supportive.  I just really appreciate it--but that's enough about that.  :)

We're getting into the swing of things with another work week.  At least this week is a short one, and Kurt has a super secret mystery adventure planned for my birthday this weekend!  Have I mentioned that he's great?  He really, really is.

That's all for now, but I'm hopeful we'll get a midweek update or two this week too!  Have a great week everyone!!


Shakey Graves - Dearly Departed

Monday, April 3, 2017

What a Weekend!

Hey there everyone!

I know it's been a shamefully long time since I posted any updates...I wish I had a good excuse, but really, we just haven't been doing that much around the house.

We spent a few weekends working on cleaning out Kurt's apartment in Fort Wayne.  As a side note--why does moving always take more time and effort than you expect it to?!  And we spent a weekend days shopping for wedding miscellany.

This weekend, was the first weekend in MONTHS that we spent the whole weekend working on projects around the house.  We got quite a few things done, and we have quite a few things brewing!  So, I feel like I owe everyone some updates--here's where we are:

Wedding Updates:
We bought Kurt's suit and wedding band.  When we bought Kurt's ring, before we even left the mall he said, "I want to put it on, just to see how it feels." and he proceeded to wear his ring for the rest of the day. It may  not seem like a big deal to anyone else, but it totally melted my heart that he was so excited to wear his ring.  And I think it's a great sign for things to come!  :)

We also picked up gobs of artificial flowers, so we can start putting together bouquets, pew decorations, and whatnots.  I've been wondering if I should order real flowers for boutineers, and corsages.  Since we only need a handful, I think that we just might.  I want to make sure that the guys look good, and the moms feel special.  And me--I want fake flowers to make sure I don't attract any bees!  :P

We found a photographer, and have engagement photos scheduled for the end of the month!

With that, I think that we pretty much have everything for the wedding planned and taken care of!

We're also tackling some of the reception projects (even though we have way more time until those need to be completed).  A few weeks ago, after Stacey, my mom and I finished wedding dress shopping we picked up a stack of vintage plates to try and make cool, unique cake stands.  I have to say, I think that they look pretty cool!

 We collected a variety of things for bases.  Small cut glass dishes, a funky little drinking glass, an ice cream dish--you get the idea.  Then I just used some E6000 adhesive, and in about ten minutes we had the beginnings of centerpieces!

I really like that they're all a little bit different! I think I'll like them even more when they have pies on them!

House Updates:

Okay, these may not sound like big updates to anyone else, but considering that we haven't done much real housework in months, they feel like big updates to us!

First, I re-did the floor in the downstairs bathroom.  I can't seem to find a "before" picture, and I'm totally fine with that.  The floor was vinyl faux wood, and it was pretty crooked.  I didn't hate it, but it definitely needed to go.  Now the floor matches the upstairs bathroom, and the entry way.  Somehow, it makes this tiny little room feel bigger when you're inside.  Plus, I really like the way this stuff feels on bare feet.  I dunno why, but it's pretty satisfying!

The next big thing was staining, and getting the master bedroom door rehung.  My brother took the door off last spring, before the fire, and we've just been living without a door on our room.  It didn't really matter too much to us, but Kurt wanted to use the last bedroom upstairs to set up a home office, so I had to get the door out of there for him.
Hallway view of the door. 
 I don't think you can tell from this picture, but I spent nearly an hour stripping the door hinges!  I swear, I think there must've been 80 years worth of paint on them.  Now they don't really look like anything, but that's just the way it should be!
This is Kurt, laying on the floor, watching the cats be puzzled by there suddenly being a door where there wasn't before.  Are you imaging him meowing at the cats--because you should be.  

This weekend I also worked on getting the middle bedroom into a condition habitable to humans.  Again, it may not look like much, but getting the bed made, and the room pulled together feels like progress!

The room definitely needs some art, and the trim/doors still need to be done, but a human could stay here if they needed to!

Cats approve.  

This weekend, Kurt cleaned out both of our cars, and mowed!  And he spent a few hours putting together a desk for his new office.  I realize now that I didn't take any pictures of those things.  I'm really out of practice blogging!

All in all, it was a pretty great weekend!  Busy, but great!  We still have quite a few small projects to finish around the house, but they're pretty manageable.  And we know that we need to do some SERIOUS work on landscaping, but it's not quite time yet.  So for now, we'll work on knocking out the inside work.

A few weeks ago, at the Warsaw Home and Garden show, we also talked to a friend of ours that's a contractor about the possibility of adding on a garage--and maybe some other things!  ;)  So, our motivation to get all the other small stuff around the house is pretty high right now!  Hopefully that means more regular updates of progress around here!

Happy Monday!


PS - We're starting to discuss what our "first dance" song should be for the reception.  Right now, it seems like I can only think of songs that aren't great first dance songs!  If anyone has any suggestions--I'm all ears!

Neil Young - Walk With Me

The National - Green Gloves

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Houston, We Have a Wedding Date!

Hey All!

Oh my goodness--what a whirlwind this week has been!  We've been kind of thinking about wedding planning, and we've discussed lots of options.  I think that any of you who know me already know--this sort of thing is just not my strong spot!

Need someone to refinish your hardwood floors?  Me.  Need someone to paint, strip, polish, literally anything you own? Me.  Need someone to bake you some alright chocolate chip cookies?  Me. Need someone to plan a huge event for you?....not me.  I just can't be bothered or trusted with things like balloons, and linens, and centerpieces.  It's not that I don't care, it's that I just really don't feel confident about making these kinds of decisions.  And who wants to devote so much time and energy to something they don't feel confident about?!

Well, the good news is, things have come together pretty quickly!  This week, we picked a wedding venue/date, and reception venue/date.  Plus food.  Plus colors.  And Saturday I'm going wedding dress shopping with the moms!  Boom.  I even reserved a block of hotel rooms for the reception.

But even as I write this, I'm starting to build a mental list of all of the things that still need to be done. Ugh.

  • Invitations (wedding / reception)
  • Photographer (engagement shots / wedding / reception)
  • DJ (reception)
  • Honeymoon
  • Make appointment for hair/makeup
  • Centerpieces (ugh)
  • Order Pies
  • Who knows what else! 

This is clearly going to take more than a week to plan....but we'll get there.  We have time!  I think my real concern is, what do I not even know that I'm not thinking about?  Only time will tell! For now, I'm going to go drop off my check to reserve the chapel.  That'll make me feel accomplished for the day! 


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

You know what they say....While the cat's away

Hey All, 

This week, Kurt is in China for work.  So, I got the crazy idea into my head that I should try to do all of the projects around the house that he either didn't really feel like doing, or wouldn't really enjoy doing.  There are still plenty of things to do, but some things, he'd enjoy less than others.  And I figured that the least I could do is knock out a couple of them while he was gone. 

These projects included: 

  •  Digging all the rocks out of the flower bed between the front steps and driveway. 
    • This ended up being an alright job.  The weather this weekend was lovely, and it only took me like two hours.  In my defense, the flower bed is about 6' by 2' and the rocks were six inches deep.  Plus, I'm super out of shape. 
  • Digging out the random post in the back yard. 
    • We'll call this partially done. The cement footer goes down about four feet.  So I dug it out enough that I can wiggle it, but the cement is waaaaay to heavy for me to be able to pull it out. I'm assuming it'll take a skid loader or something crazy. 
      • Side note--why did Kurt get out of all the digging?!
  • Cutting the second box spring in half. 
    • I moved it upstairs, and tonight I'm planning on splicing it back together and building the bed!  Woo!  The cats will be so pleased. 
  • Painting the front door. 
    • We know the door should be replaced, but I just wanted to give it a little face lift.  Or maybe I just needed a more light weight project after all the heavy lifting?
      • I'm also in the process of painting our (my soon to be) initial, and our house number on the glass. 
I just felt like it needed some color.  This was my Menards impulse purchase.  I feel pretty good about it! 

I'm going for something like this on the glass, but we'll see...
  • Replacing the half bathroom floor.  
    • I got the sheet vinyl cut down, but my wedge for the doorway is a little too tall.  By the time I realized it, it was too late to take it outside to saw.  Maybe tonight, but probably tomorrow. #letsbereal
  • Laundry.  
    • We let it pile up way to high, and I've done four loads this week.  We're only two people--how did this happen?!

When I write it all out, it feels like I've gotten quite a bit done!  And to think, the week is only half over!  The cats were terrible the first few days, but more calm last night.  I know they miss Kurt (and so do I), but I really hope they get over it tonight.  Last night, Mickey insisted on sleeping on neck.  Then he bit my nose when I rolled over in my sleep.  Someone is a reallllll daddy's boy.  

I was hoping to get around to replacing the light in the hallway by the half bath, but decided that maybe I shouldn't stand on a ladder and do electrical work while I'm home alone.  Safety first.  Plus, I'm secretly hoping that someone taller than me will do this job.  I have to stand on the second highest ladder step, and it makes me so nervous...maybe I'll go on a trip for work, and Kurt can do this job while I'm gone?  :D 

While I'm working, I've been listening to old, old country at full volume.  Being alone for a week isn't terrible, but I'll be very happy to see Kurt when he gets home in a few days! 


Monday, February 6, 2017

Laundry Room Catch Up!

Two updates in one day?!  This never happens!  But it was a big week at our house!

This week, Kurt surprised me by finishing up mitering the trim pieces for our jumbo laundry room peg board.

Here's a quick recap of that whole process....

First of all, I may have been a little....overly confident about what would fit in the Fit.  And poor Kurt had to come out to Lowes at 9pm to help me tie the piece of pegboard to my car.  Oops.  At least it wasn't snowing too hard, yet?

The big piece is 4 feet by 6 feet.  Scotch was very curious about it. 

We decided to hang it vertically in an attempt to hide some of the places where the plaster looked really lumpy and weird.
We just used a pair of firr-ing strips, and a dozen drywall screws.  It felt surprisingly sturdy!  I think that I could have hung off of one of the strips, and it would've been safe, well, minus my poor grip strength. 

And here's the final product!  Kurt ordered three different sets of pegboard accessories.  I spent literally hours trying to decide how to make everything fit.  I couldn't believe how much stuff we were able to fit on here! By the time it was all loaded up, I'd pretty much emptied the bar full of tools, and the Ikea shelf that we bought a few months ago.

As an added benefit, the last three times I wanted a tape measure--I knew exactly where it was!  This was one of those projects that was cheap, easy, and made a HUGE impact.  I'm already thinking about where else in the house I can hang another pegboard.  I'm thinking closet storage for jewelry, bras, and planning outfits for the week?  The possibilities are endless!


Big News!

Hello All!

At this point, I think that most all of you have heard the big news..but for any of you who haven't heard...WE'RE ENGAGED!  

I'll just start with the pictures.  I know that's what you really want lol   On Thursday night, Kurt proposed.  When he was "traveling for business" a few weeks ago, apparently that meant flying to Nashville for a secret trip to Third Man Records, to record a record of him proposing to me.  Come on--if that doesn't tell you he's perfect for me, I don't know what will!  Insert blushing smiley face here.  Talk about a happy Groundhog Day!

We are super excited, but we're not quite ready to start wedding planning yet. Well, maybe we're just not ready to start sharing wedding plans with the world yet.  Don't worry--it'll happen--this year even!  But if anyone else asks me when we're having babies, well, just don't.  That's not happening yet.  #sorrynotsorry #stopasking   We're excited, but first things first!


I Got You Babe - Sony & Cher