Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Under Construction Once Again

Remember when we bought our house and the front room looked like this? Yikes!

Okay so our contractor improved the space quite a bit and we've added some of our own homey and decorative touches, but it's still a big blank window wall. Don't mind Blitzy, she just really wanted to be in all my pictures :).

Here's from the other angle in case you forgot how big the wall really is!

So after talking about it a bunch and looking at a lot of ideas on Pinterest (okay that was mostly me, not Spencer; he was busy pinning pictures of guns haha) we decided to pull the plug and start working on a window seat book case combination. It'll be awhile till it's all finished up but here's the progress!

No thanks to me really. I was supposed to be helping but then I got distracted by vacuuming up wood chips blitz had chewed to bits and cleaning up dinner and then Alisha called and so pretty much all I did was measure one board. I know impressive :). I'll try to be more disciplined next time!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ups and Downs

"Every town has it ups and downs, sometimes ups outnumber the downs, but not in Nottingham." Thank you Robin Hood for being stuck in my head this morning for some reason. Maybe just because I've been thinking about how life can be simultaneously full of ups and downs. It makes for a bit of a roller coast ride sometimes. Never boring though!

Take this week as an example. A coworker I really respect and admire transfered to our Midland office. I'd been working with him since I started full time, and I really enjoyed working alongside him. He was gracious and pretty patient (which was good for me to be around since patience as a virture has still not really stuck in my head yet hah) and always kind to people. He also would telll me about his son who is my age and about his aging mother in law who moved in with them a year ago when she was sick and her husband had just died. He'd tell me about working to pay off their house and about how he and his wife really loved their church, about how they'd taken really good care of him when he lost a kidney. I've met his wife too, and she is really wonderful, working all the time with senior citizens at their church and taking care of her mom and loving their son. So I feel like I didn't just lose a coworker, I lost an example of how to be in a Christian in the midst of day to day life. Not always glamorous, but I was thankful just to be able to watch him "do life," as cliche as that may sound. Mostly a down.

We had Ange and Bob's wedding shower at our house last night with a bunch of friends from TU and from church. Lots of delicious food and Ace pear cider and laughter and marriage advice and two matching craftsman toolboxes for Bob. Definite up.

My dog is licking my face and my computer as I write this. It's 65 degrees and sunny in January and we're sitting outside on the ground on the front porch enjoying it. Definite up number 2.

Natural gas prices are plummeting. We are running cases where we get no value for the gas stream (ha yes I know that is like a code language for nerds). The office is getting a little doom and gloom. Downer.

I've been trying to figure out how you balance the pursuit of excellence with also resting and knowing when to say no. Christians are supposed to pursue excellence, to strive to reflect God's perfect creativity in all we do, and yet we are limited and fallen. And even God rested after all he made. Confusing? For sure. Okay that's not really an up or a down, just something I've been thinking about. Feel free to comment ;).

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Cleaning Up

Spencer and I have been cleaning up around the house and running errands all day oh and I went to the gym. Sometimes I wonder what our Saturday's will look like when we have kids. I'm pretty sure I won't get to sleep in till 8:30 and then go to the gym for two hours and then leisurely pick up the house and shop and watch TV, but who knows. Maybe I'll have really obliging kids haha I'm not crossing my fingers :).

So yes we were cleaning because next weekend we're hosting Ange and Bob's wedding shower (so exciting!!!), and we figured a Christmas tree was probably not appropriate a month after Christmas has already passed. I really like my tree this year though, so I was sad to see it go. That corner of the living room is so bare now! I guess it'll be motivation for us to start working on our built in window seat and book cases . . .

Spencer's been at it again. Look at the awesome coffee table he made me!! I was so excited when I saw it finished!!! (See all the exclamation points ;) that's alot even for me haha). Now we just have to figure out how to keep it looking old and rustic while still being able to set things on it without ruining it.

I think I might just make this my only new year's resolution and forget about the rest of them. Thanks West Elm for the inspiration :).

I tried something new this week: rock and roll yoga. Apparently all the hot women in Tulsa do this on Friday's after work. Good thing I figured that out :). Okay but seriously it was pretty fun, and I am incredibly inflexible so I'm pretty sure it was pretty funny if you happened to be watching me try to lift one leg off the ground and balance with my hand on the floor when I can't in fact reach my toes (or the floor). Everyone promised me I would get better with time ;).

I also had a blast from the past. I raced for two minutes on a rowing machine at the gym. It was for a chance at a six month membership, and even though it was totally for fun I still was nervous! Nothing like competition to kick my nerves into gear. I'm not sure yet if I won, I'll keep you posted :).

Alright we're having a game night with wings and beer and veggies and an expirement with Coke and Pepsi. Should be fun. Thanks mom and Katy for all the games; they've been quite a hit so far!

Hope the January doldrums aren't getting you down. Nothing like a little goal setting to get you feeling all introspective and obnoxious. Maybe it's just me ;).

Saturday, January 7, 2012

2012 Musings

Alright so I've been trying to figure out what I want my 2012 resolutions to be, and it's making my head hurt a little bit or maybe work is making my head hurt so it's been a bit hard to think creatively.

I know, I know I don't have to have resolutions, but I like having them! It gives me things to dream about and things to focus on and really let's be honest I like lists :). I have been thinking though that I probably need to focus more on life goals then on goals for the next 365 days. I mean come on 365 days is so limiting right? Haha okay I think I've just been realizing I'm not one those people that needs to make goals in order to accomplish anything. I might just need to set less goals for myself sometimes, unless I'm making goals like stop and smell the roses more often or ones like I saw in a boutique today: "keep calm and eat a cupcake" haha that one made me laugh.

Okay so in light of everything I've been thinking about here's my list (well the ones I feel like sharing with the world wide web haha):

- Read about business women or famous women who have kids. I know this is sort of random but I'd like to see how they balanced things or how they didn't balance things. What glass ceilings did they run into? Did they take time off to raise kids? What kind of education did they have? I'm intrigued :).

-Pray bigger things for myself and for those I care about. I want to dream bigger and pray about those dreams. I think I know some pretty awesome people who I think are going to do pretty amazings things with their lives. If nothing else having prayed about things in advance will help me see how God is working.

- Call or email my siblings more. Hint hint you can also call me more ;). I miss you guys! Maybe I'll start praying you all end up Okies haha.

- Say no to things so I can better enjoy the things I do say yes to. I know bad grammar and very vague. I'm still working on fleshing this one out. I want to enjoy walking my dog and going to the gym and cooking meals from things in our garden, not just see them as tasks to be completed.

- Plant a fruit tree or fruit bush. Probably blackberries.

-Go somewhere new. Maybe the northeast? See lighthouses?

-Keep going to the gym. Gotta keep one old standard in there :).

- And my favorite and probably most ridiculous: take catamaran sailing lessons! I want to be on the water more and since there is no beach anywhere near us, this is as close as I can get.

I've got a few more but they are secret haha.

I found a few pictures from Switzerland that just make me happy. So here are some of my favorite 2011 memories.

Maybe I'll go back someday. Maybe I'll own a Swiss chalet. Probably not, but I like to dream alright :). There's got to be oil and gas under those mountains somewhere right? Sign me up for that! Don't worry I'll get a chalet with lots of bedrooms for visitors. And while we're dreaming big I'll get my own private jet that can cross the ocean so you can all come for fee!

Happy New Years!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Bob The Builder Can

Okay so his name's not Bob and I realize this is normally when you write New Year's resolution posts, but I need a little time to think through what is a reasonable number of resolutions for 365 days. I tend to make really ambitious lists that should be more like life time resolutions haha.

Back to Bob the Builder. When we bought our house we decided Spencer was going to redo the shed himself. Which was no small task. It had a caving in roof, rotting floor boards, no garage door, really old plumbing (including a really old nasty toilet!), not to mention lots of junk. Add to that a bunch of junk we dumped in there when we moved and you get one big mess! Or one big room for improvement, pun intended :).

First step: Demo. This was sometime last year (yes it's been a long process haha).

Oh and did I mention that in the meantime, everything that was too valuable to be left out in the shed without any locks or real doors and with sometimes gaping holes in the roof, was stashed in the back room! No sun room for me . . . at least for the time being!

Step Two: New roof! This was an on going process over the last year. Spencer enlisted the troops (translation: David, David, and some TU kids that like building things) and somehow they rebuilt the entire roof on the shed. They almost fell through the roof a few times when they were replacing major beams, but thankfully no major injuries!

Step three was the electricity. We dug a long trench for the house to the shed to save some moola but then we paid a guy to do the actual wiring, just to be save and under code.

Step four was laying concrete. Our bank friends, okay okay I'll call them our house reno friends, headed over to help Spencer lay the concrete himself so we could save a bunch of bucks on the installation.

Step five: dry wall! Spencer managed to get almost all the dry wall hung while I was in St. Louis running around down seeing my bestie from high school getting married, hanging with the fam, and seeing Alisha. I'm so amazed by the handyman I married! I had no idea! On campus TU apartments don't let you see the true skills of handymans ;).

He also put in a hand work desk and hung all the old cabinets that were originally in the kitchen when we bought the house. My next task when it's a little warmer out and once Spencer picks a manly color haha is to paint all the cabinets all a matching hue.

Next step, and possibly my favorite was a new garage door! I love it! We found a place in town that does carriage style overhead doors that we felt like matched the style of our house better than your typical metal garage door from Lowes. Technically a car can go in the garage, but with all the tools and wood inside it'd have to be a pretty bad weather forecast for us to move everything and move a car inside to safety ;).

Best part? The back room is almost all cleaned out! And I can start brainstorming about a sweet sun room. Now if only my giant dog's crate didn't take up most of the back room haha. Okay that's an exaggeration, but we are going to have to come up with a better solution for that if we want to enjoy that room all the time.

So in case you aren't already impressed, that isn't all my builder's been up to! He also installed speakers all throughout the house so that we can play music everywhere. Even out on the porch! And it can be controlled from our iphones. I know hello 2012, we are now officially Apple snobs. I asked Spencer what we'd do if we quit our jobs and couldn't afford to have iphones and he said we'll just walk in the living room and change the music from there. That made me feel a little less snobby, but only a little ;). Now all I have to do is wait till we can get a media console that actually holds all the equipment we now have. Right now we are looking a little college dorm roomish with electronics all over the place :).

Alright I'm off to pick up some fresh veggies and read more of Time's 2011 year end review. I have decided one resolution for 2012 is to be a little more informed about the world around me, especially since it's an election year! Hope you all had really restful breaks and aren't making too long of resolution lists. I'm trying not to think about the fact that my next day off is in May!!!