Little House. Big Resolutions.

Few people know I’ve kept a journal since I was eight years old, writing about my day’s events and pouring my heart out to an imagined reader who listened in sympathetic silence to all of my adolescent trials and travails. To date, I’ve filled five of those leather backed journals cover to cover with hopes, movie ticket stubs, tears from breakups gone by– and my New Year’s resolutions. I’ve written them every year since I was eight. Over the years they’ve gone from “not hit my sister” and “not miss the bus once” to “graduate with a B average from Rose” and “find a job in Dallas.”

This year, Kevin and I made resolutions together. 2011 was was filled with tons of changes for us; we want 2012 to be a year of growth– as individuals, as a couple, and even as a blog. So without further ado, here are our 2012 New Year’s Resolutions:

  1. Get Healthy. This resolution started simply as get in shape, but the more we talked about it, the more we realized we wanted an entire lifestyle change. We want to eat healthier, locally, and seasonally. We want to eat in more than we eat out, drink less alcohol and more water, and waste less food. It also includes working out. With my recent shoulder surgery, strength training is a must. We both love running and want to complete our first 5K race. We want to cycle more, take Indy for more walks, and to take up something new (maybe kayaking?).

    Shopping at the Dallas Farmer's Market will help us to eat both locally and seasonally.

  2. Disconnect and Reconnect. Working for a major technology company, Kevin and I are always tethered. Whether on our phones or laptops, work and the internet are never far away. We email and text our parents and connect with friends via Gchat and Facebook. This year, we want to disconnect. Turn off the cell phones, leave the laptops in our bags, and spend more quality time together. Work email can wait. LHBH can wait. We’re only newlyweds for so long. We also want to reconnect this year. Our goal is to single-handedly save the US Postal Service. We want to send cards, notes, and thank yous to our friends and family for every event (birthdays, anniversaries, etc) via good, old fashioned snail mail. We also want to entertain more, spend more time with our friends, and visit our families as often as we can.

    Our friends and family are the most important thing in our lives!

  3. Be Better Neighbors. We’re not just talking about next door. Jesus said we should love our neighbor as ourselves and this year we want to put that into practice. Kevin and I are very blessed and intend to share our blessings with others through volunteering, donations, and any kind of support we can offer. I’d love to start mentoring again and we both would love to get involved with Habitat for Humanity. We’re even considering donating my car when we get a new one!
  4. Help Little House get a Little Bigger. Starting this blog has been one of the best things we’ve ever done. We love sharing our lives with others and connecting with people across the country (and even across the world). This year, we want to make LHBH bigger and better. We don’t necessarily mean more readers (although the more the merrier). Instead, we want to have better, more well written posts, and updated design, and more reader interaction. We love hearing what you have to say! We also want to have our first LHBH giveaway!
  5. Be Twenty-Something. Kevin and I are young. Yes, we have a mortgage. Jobs. Loans.  Eventually we’ll start a family and have to settle down. But for now, we want to embrace being twenty-something. We want to travel– Mardi Gras, Vegas, Europe. We want to hike and bike and go camping. To stay out late with our friends and sleep in the next morning. To scuba dive and do all the thing our parents always told us to do while we’re young. We’re not afraid of getting older, nor do we think life ends at thirty. We just want to sew our wild oats while we can.

    Going to Vegas on the spur of the moment? You betcha!

We plan on revisiting these once a month just to keep ourselves honest. We don’t think any of these are too lofty and hope that with a little effort, we can look back on 2012 and call it an even better year than 2011.

What are your resolutions? Is there anything you’d like to see from LHBH in the coming year?

 

*** Oh, and we bought the rug! I got an email saying it was no longer available, so we’ll see. Keeping our fingers crossed!***

Oh Baby, Baby! Part III

I just ordered Kevin’s gift! It’s half from Etsy and half a Grouponicus find. Thanks to everyone who gave their suggestions! They were really helpful! Now I just hope they get in before Christmas.

Since I’m in a gift-y mood, I thought I’d share the gift I got for my sister. I knew that there would be no shortage of onesies and bottles for Emma, so I loved the idea of doing a Hospital Survival Kit for Steph and her husband. Not having been-there-done-that myself (yet), I relied heavily on other blogger’s suggestions as to what was needed in the delivery room, getting much of my inspiration from this idea I found on Pinterest (where else?).

And here’s my version. I was running around like a mad woman (totally uncharacteristic, I assure you) and completely forgot to add the printable labels I’d made.

Inside, Steph found:

  1. MadLibs – Growing up, this was one of Steph’s favorite games to pass time with.
  2. ChexMix – This is Steph’s favorite snack (for post-baby midnight munchies)
  3. M&Ms – Because anyone who just did that much work bringing a life into the world deserves chocolate
  4. Crystal Light lemonade – this was a suggestion from a fellow blogger who disliked the lemonade her hospital offered
  5. Rubber Bands – having hair in your face is a pain in the rear on good days, let alone in the middle of labor (or so I’m told)
  6. Burt’s Bees Pomegranate – to keep those lips baby-kissing soft
  7. Playing Cards – for Nate
  8. Deodorant – to help freshen up before everyone comes in to see little Emma
  9. Water Bottle – another blogger suggestion, the cups her hospital gave her were too small and she emptied them before her nurse was even out of the room
  10. Dark Chocolate Cherry Kashi bars – more midnight post-baby munchies for Steph
  11. Beef Jerky – Tied with ChexMix for Steph’s all time favorite snack. It’s pretty high on the list for Nate, too.
  12. Toothbrush and toothpaste – just in case she forgets hers at home and to get rid that I-haven’t-been-allowed-to-have-water breath
  13. Makeup removal wipes – To remove those mascara smears before everyone comes in to see Emma
  14. Johnson’s body lotion – To freshen up and aid Nate in giving better hand massages
  15. Ouchless Headbands – again, to keep that pesky hair tame and out of the way

Like I said, I had no idea what one would wish for in the delivery room, so if some of these things seem a little superfluous… just go with it.

The Golden Book (The Pokey Little Puppy) was what we did for Emma in lieu of cards. Every guest was asked to purchase a Golden Book and write Emma a little note to read someday. We thought this would be more meaningful and lasting than cards and would help to start a little library for Em (see, I’m already giving her nicknames).

I hope Steph enjoys the gift as much as I enjoyed putting it together!

Do you tend to give traditional gifts or go a little (or way) outside the box? Have you finished your Christmas shopping? Can you believe I just started this morning?? I must be crazy. Oh yeah.

 

Let’s Talk Turkey. Again.

This morning, I’m thankful for… can I be thankful for Kevin twice in one month because today I really am thankful for him. Actually, I’m thankful for him every day, but this weekend he got so much done and then had coffee going for me when I got out of the shower this morning… I really am a blessed, blessed woman to have such a thoughtful, hard working hubby.

***

So. Remember that guy?

He has been the source of much listing, preparation, and DIY attempting lately (he is also resting in state in our refrigerator awaiting a nice dunk in a whiskey brine, but that’s another post).

Today, in case you weren’t aware, it’s Monday. Our family starts arriving on Wednesday. For those of you (like myself) not 100% math savvy, that’s less than three days. Three. Ahh! We posted this list back mid-October with some projects we wanted to finish on the Little House before our family arrives. Here’s where we are:

an Ikea trip to purchase additional dining chairs (we only have 4) (We got them for a steal!)
– hang wedding pictures (not done yet… maybe today?)
– caulk the cracks in the crown moulding in our bedrooms (not gonna happen)
– replace the rest of the electrical outlets in the house (nope. not even close.)
sell our eBay/Craigslist pile (relocated to attic)
– trim the bushes in the front yard and crepe myrtles in the back (crepe myrtles, check. bushes… not yet)
have a chimney sweep out
– replace ugly white ceiling fans in bedrooms (I wish, but not gonna happen)
powerwash sidewalks and deck (done here)
– paint front door (it needs it bad, but will have to wait until summer)
– sand and condition kitchen counters (today. definitely today.)
– dining room curtains and bathroom curtains (dining room today, bathroom last Thursday)
wallpaper living room bookshelves (done-o)
do something with the ottomans (if you count throwing a fur over them “something”)
– paint the bedrooms/office (we got the office done, but the bedrooms will hold)

And here’s what we added:

wash slipcovers (done!)
finish sewing pillows shut
put new Ikea chairs together
clean out garage (Kev did this Saturday while I was in Indiana)
buy and stack firewood
buy fireplace screen (found one with great reviews on Amazon for $33)
furnace service
– replace thermostat (the furnace service revealed the heater thermostat is bad, fixing tomorrow)
dining room bar (yay Pinterest challenge!)
top of fridge (cleaned when we combined drawers on the bar)
clean out pantry/fridge
replace lock on front door
– clean carpet in office (today)
hem shower curtain
cut down holly tree by front gate

We’ve got a ton done but still have a lot to do! Hopefully I’ll be sharing some of the before/afters with you tomorrow!

How was your weekend? Get any pre-holiday projects done?

Let’s Talk Turkey. And Powerwashers.

DIY projects have been few and far between at the Little House of late. Don’t worry, it’s just the calm before the storm. Things are about to get ca-razy around here. Why?

Both Kevin and my families are coming  for Thanksgiving and we want to have the Little House in tip-top form. That means a month or so of frenzied cleaning, sprucing up, and DIY-project finishing. We have a list a mile long of projects we hope to finish, including (but not limited to):

– an Ikea trip to purchase additional dining chairs (we only have 4)
– hang wedding pictures
– caulk the cracks in the crown moulding in our bedrooms
– replace the rest of the electrical outlets in the house
– sell our eBay/Craigslist pile
– trim the bushes in the front yard and crepe myrtles in the back
– have a chimney sweep out
– replace ugly white ceiling fans in bedrooms
– powerwash sidewalks and deck
– paint front door
– sand and condition kitchen counters
– dining room curtains
– wallpaper living room bookshelves
– do something with the ottomans
– paint the bedrooms (maybe)

This past weekend, we crossed the powerwashing off the list. Kevin got his new powerwasher out for the first time. It was a refurbished model that we got for less than half the original price.

Kevin was very excited to play with his new toy.

I’m not going to lie… so was I. Side note: bare feet + powerwasher = not a good idea.

The powerwasher took decades of dirt and moss off our sidewalks. It looks like we had new sidewalks poured.


Are we the only ones that go crazy when family comes to visit? Do you have Thanksgiving plans yet? What are your plans for the weekend? Kevin and I are headed out tonight for a quick weekend getaway to fabulous Las Vegas.

Little House. Big Goals.

Lately its seemed like the hubs and I have made very little progress on the Little House. Sure, we’ve painted a few rooms,

bought some new Ikea furniture,

Ikea.com


and installed a washer and dryer


but all-in-all, we’ve been too busy to really do much. It’s a little frustrating, but we know we’ll get there eventually. In that spirit (of trying to be patient), I thought I’d make a list of our big goals for the Little House. Here goes:

  1. Remove the large, unsightly stone structures that take up our whole backyard (one is built over a concrete-filled hot tub). Time frame: Spring 2011

    Listing Photo

  2. Gut and reno the bath. We love the mint green and hexagon floor tile, but they’re beyond repair. Timeframe: Fall 2012
  3. Sod the yard. We’d rather seed, but apparently St. Augustine grass (what we’d like to plant) is a sterile grass and cannot be seeded. Timeframe: Spring 2010

    photo from Natural Technologies

  4. Redo the kitchen floor and add kickboards to our Ikea cabinets. Nearly every tile is cracked on the current floating tile floor. We’re also not fans of the industrial steel legs on the cabinets (and I might be a smidge tired of chasing dog/cat toys from the deep, dark depths). Timeframe: Winter 2011

    Listing Photo

  5. Finish our bedrooms. We have done absolutely zero to either bedroom and they need it. Here’s an inspiration room (from Pinterest, of course) I’m digging for our master. I love the subdued color palette and texture variations. Timeframe: Winter 2011/Spring 2012

    from House Beautiful

So that’s our biggest plans for the LH. We have several small projects here and there planned and we’ll share those as they come along!

What are your biggest plans for your place? I’ve got to run and catch a plane to Indiana for RHIT‘s homecoming, my parent’s birthdays, and (maybe) my high school reunion, but have a great weekend!