Wednesday, May 25, 2016

{Life} Roller Coaster Week

Hello! I did not mean to take almost a full month off but it does happen to be about my busiest month all year. Between Doug's birthday (end of April) and the end of May, so much happens. So I have now dubbed one week "Roller Coaster Week" as it's a roller coaster of emotions, thoughts, feelings, and just plain busyness.

The roller coaster week starts on May 16. 5 years ago on May 16, we lost my brother. I was going to write about it again as it's the 5th anniversary but I just couldn't put my feelings into words. I've done it before on here (last year on his birthday) and through Facebook and I even mentioned it on Instagram (follow me at thebrickbungalow) but I just couldn't make another post. 

He had a larger than life personality and so many people miss him. I know he would have adored Nate and Nate would be in love with him. My brother had a way with kids and he and Lily were an instant bond. The fact that Nate is almost his mini-me is crazy. And Jesse would have loved watching Lily play soccer and softball. 



This week, at least this year, was the last week of my school (as I'm a teacher). Doug's last week is this current week, so he's coming to an end too. But last week, for me, was chaos. They tell us to "teach 'til the last minute" but really… come on! Have YOU tried to teach middle school students on the last week??!?! Chaos. I become a babysitter, not a teacher. And don't even do the math on what I'd make if I was a true babysitter (hourly wage per kid x number of kids per class = way more than what I make!). Ugh. Just ugh.

Then, on the 20th, the last day of school, was my 10 (TEN!) year anniversary with Doug. TEN. Holy cow! The photo below was from our second anniversary. We are really terrible about taking photos of us on our anniversary - maybe that'll be our goal for the next 10 years! 


And then to end of the roller coaster was Lily's birthday. My baby girl turned 7. SEVEN. How did that one happen!?!? I'll be posting more about this now second grader soon. I'll update this collage of her birthday shirts (all made from my mother-in-law). 


So in one week, just seven simple days, I go from one of the lowest of the low type feelings to super excited and happy. You can see how crazy it's been. So now I'm anxious to get my hands dirty and work on gardening, updating blog photos, and working on our basement! 



Today is my actual first day off for summer and although my to do list is long and I have a little girl's birthday party to get ready for, I found myself not in the mood for anything. I did get two plants in the garden that were about to die if I didn't and I took a great nap, but still. I just felt like a balloon that lost its air. Out of shape, no energy, nothing to say "let's do this!" I tried music, sugar, caffeine… everything. But not much. Tomorrow should be better. I have huge plans for the next month!!

So how's your summer? Big plans for Memorial Day? We always have Lily's party then so that's about all we have going on. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

{Garden} Morels

My parents own 80 plus acres and not too long ago, my mom went out looking for morels. She found a snake and that was the end of her hunt. That is, until she came to our yard and was playing outside with Nate. The cinderblocks, below, are a part of what will be a retaining wall for the kids' play area (to hopefully be finished this summer!). 

Do you see it? It's there and my mom couldn't believe it. And it wasn't the only one! 



Look at the size of those things! 


We found 5 that day - two were bad, so we left them there in hopes of more mushrooms. The next day I went back out and found this giant. Seriously, have you seen any that big?! Plus, it had already had a piece broken off it. 



I haven't found anymore but I took a few of the stems and top pieces that broke off and threw them all around the kids' area. Who knows! We are guessing they liked that the dirt had been moved and there wasn't grass in the way. Plus, it had rained a lot and then got hot - perfect mushroom making weather in Missouri. 

Do you like morels? Are they available in your area? I love regular mushrooms and portabellas but I'm honestly not a fan of these. Doug and my parents are though, so hooray for free food! 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

{Family Time} MU Vet School

A couple weeks ago, I gathered up my kids and met my parents and we drove to MU for their family fun day. We weren't sure what to expect but knew it would involve animals and since Nate is an animal loving kid, we thought it would be fun.

And what's more fun then starting the day off with a tractor ride?!!? We actually started with breakfast and some fire trucks to stare at, so he was already in Heaven. 


And Nate wears his sunglasses upside down every time. We show him the right way but it's harder for him to push them up on the top of his head when they are right side up. 


That bunny was gigantic! And it wasn't even the largest bunny in its breed. 


A wallaby anyone? 


Nate really enjoyed the baby animals. 


Lily even petted a few. No one stuck their hand inside the cow who has a hole (on purpose) on the side of its stomach. It's a vet school, so they learn from it. I was tempted but also grossed out. 


Lily was all for riding the horse. She got the lucky one that can dance and do tricks. 


Face painting for the win. She was completely passed out here. I love it. 


Nate was pretty exhausted too. 


Giving us their best "rawr!" faces!! It is home of the tigers, so they have to get it right. 


And then there was the locally made ice cream. Delicious! 



It was a fun, little chaotic, day of checking out the MU vet school. Maybe one of my kids will go there. I'd be fine with them living that close to home!!! 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

{Lily's Garden} April

Lily's Garden is pretty much finished. Or, at least as finished as a garden can be. The beds are made, the rocks have been put down on the ground, and the flowers have are growing. And growing. 


And growing even more. Which, of course, is what I want. However, after 7 years of gardening (and adding more every year), things have gotten a bit full. Sunday morning saw a lot of gardening and after weeding a lot and checking on the growth of everything, I've realized the giant oak leaf hydrangea has taken over the back area to the point that some of my day lilies aren't getting as much sun as they should. 


And then there's the three hydrangeas I planted while pregnant with Nate and one gets too much sun. I've noticed it since the summer after he was born but refused to mess with it, hoping it'll all be ok. And it has been until I realized just how much smaller the plant is compared to the other two. So I am going to switch the hydrangea with some of the day lilies. 

I'll have more photos later as I just had enough time to split some of the day lilies and now they filled in a few empty spots. I didn't think I could find empty spots but I did. I may put the rest on the south side of our house where the irises live. 

And below is just a shot of our container gardens I collected in this area last year. You can see some pots are empty and there are dead weeds in the background but if I wait to take photos until everything is picture perfect, I would never have any photos. Plus, I want to document changes more than anything so here goes. 


There aren't many plans for #thebrickbungalowgardens this year except to maybe redo one bed that was made with wood and we're thinking of switching to stone and enlarging it. But before that, we need to work on our kids' play area, plant the veggies, split some more lilies, transplant the hydrangea, and so much more house and home (and family) stuff. 

Did you  know that Doug and I will be celebrating our 10 year anniversary soon? It's on the last day of my school. I think that calls for a celebration! 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

{Basement} Paint

So our basement is ugly. U-G-L-Y ugly. I'm sorry. Give me time. 

I mentioned I wanted to clean up and makeover our basement to a craft room. I'm thinking a mix between Meg Duerksen's and Classy Clutter's (check those babies out!) plus a bunch that are on Instagram that I love. 

We do NOT have any cuteness going on here.. I apologize. Give me time and cross your fingers, send me good vibes, pray for me - whatever your choice - I need it! 

The rest of the house is looking up and if we haven't updated it, it's just a matter of time and money (kitchen - I'm looking at you!). Some things just needed love and attention, others needed a full on gut job like our bathroom. This is a combination of both, I guess.

Cinder block walls, three broken lights (that have since been removed and donated), and a concrete floor. I guess you can say that it can only improve from here because it was just that bad.

Was. 

Here are some before - all taken with my cell phone so forgive me. I'll take better photos once we get to the pretty stuff and the sun shines again. 


Oh the ugliness - leaky something from the outside and some mold/mildew issues. Most of what you see here is actually paint I chipped off for paint prep. But yeah, there's gross stuff too. 


And here it is with primer. Let's sigh a relief on this one and think about the potential. 


And here's the other side of the basement. Two interior walls that the previous homeowner covered with brown paper bags. It's in good shape but it, with the dingy white ceilings (and other walls) and the red stained floor make it dark. And let's not forget the broken lights. 

In the phone below you can see where the trim stops… that's a closet. I may have plans for it. Maybe. 


And it's already brighter with one coat! 


Oh the ceiling. I thought it was white and then I painted it white. The old white (on the right) looks so dingy. So it'll be nice that I freshened it up. But let's not talk about cutting in for awhile, ok? The entire ceiling is covered in 45 (yes, I counted) rectangles, all surrounded with the trim. I will need a chiropractor soon (as if I didn't need to go see one already). 


And a little before and after comparison I put on Instagram. Follow me at thebrickbungalow


The plans still are: 
1. Paint - I'll say I'm 1/3 of the way - maybe. 
2. Storage
3. Tables and workspace
4. Lighting
5. A studio name

I hope to have more updates soon. I got farther along than what I've shown here, but ran through one gallon of paint already (plus the primer), so I'll show more later. I needed to stop to do everyone's favorite activity - taxes! So now that those are done with, I'll go back to painting tomorrow. And then cleaning the rest of the house. I'm on Spring Break and well, it's now halfway over but I have so much to do! 

What have you been working on? 

Some day our weather will stay constant and the sun will come out and I'll do an early garden tour. I need to stay on top of those this summer so I can show the wild growth that happens in Lily's Garden. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

{Life} Welcome!


Hi! I'm linking up to Kelly's Korner's blog today and I thought I'd start off by introducing the group around here. I'm Megan, the blogger of the family. I've been married to Doug for almost 10 years and we have two beautiful, wonderful kiddos. Lily will be 7 in May and Nate is almost 2 1/2. 



I blog (well, when I do... it gets a little crazy here), I blog about my family, our adventures, and our house and home. Last summer we completely renovated our main bathroom. And by completely renovated - I mean gutted it to the walls... and even floor. I realized I never did a complete tour of the room, all nice and done. Add that to my list! 



See? I told you sometimes even the floor goes! And yes, the above two photos are the same room. Crazy, huh?!?! Check our all the main bathroom posts here

I love to be outdoors and we've completely changed the majority of our landscaping. Well, let's just say all of it because only three bushes in the entire yard have stayed in our 9 years here and their days are numbered. 

Last summer, I redid our back yard. Well, we started it. It definitely improved a lot but we still have some plans! 


The biggest change, and longest project, is what I call our "Lily Garden". That's for two reasons - one, our daughter is named Lily and it started with a plant I received from my grandmother when I gave birth. And two, there are a lot of different types of lilies in our garden. 


The above photo was from last year, before the climbing plants and lantana took over. I just love how we started with nothing and now it's this bright, colorful oasis of flowers! (Our next door neighbor's green lawn was basically what we had...minus all the fencing). 

Oh, and I don't blog much about it, but here's some other stuff about me....

1. I'm an art teacher. I teach middle school.
2. My husband is a coach and teacher at a high school.
3. We spend a lot of time with our family.

And so much more. Find me at Instagram at thebrickbungalow for more frequent updates! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

{The Farm} Fishing and Fun

Hello!

We went back out to my parents' farm again this week (check out last week's adventures here). It's only a 20 minute drive, so nothing at all to get there to have hours of fun and a great meal or two. 

When we first got there, we decided brownies needed to be made. Who doesn't enjoy brownies? This guy got his first good lick of a spoon, covered in all that brownie goodness.

Don't judge me on my parenting - yes, it had raw eggs. Wholesome, nutritious, locally grown eggs. And really, who has ever gotten sick from a farm fresh egg?!?


Lily can smell brownies from a mile away. She asks for them every chance she can and only likes them compared to other treats (well, except ice cream). 


While at my parents' house, I had to admire the orchids. Her orchid growing ability is insane. If I buy them (because they are so pretty!), mine normally are on their death bed and she can fix them. This is ONE of many plants that bloom all the time! 


And then we decided to try fishing in their pond. They've stocked it a few times (and built it years ago) but we only saw some babies. Or as Doug thought, fish that didn't have enough food to get bigger and aren't actually babies. But I'll call them babies because they weren't longer than 5-6 inches. 


And what trip to the farm wouldn't be complete without a tractor ride? Lily and my dad went to get their two person kayak to enjoy. 


Which, of course, turned into a three person kayak because Nate is sitting on my dad's lap. You can see his green hoodie. 


And because even my dogs get spoiled (some times), Krypto got to enjoy the lake. We've had him for almost 5 years and he has never gone to the lake before. He's gone to my parents, but we don't normally let them out of the fenced off portion. The lab side of him really enjoyed it and I'm happy the American Bulldog side didn't make him sink. He went pretty far out in the water, where it's deep, so I panicked a bit. He did great though. Zoey went too but she's not into swimming and has since lost her privileges to go back as she whined the entire time out there in the car and for the next 24-ish hours as she hurt herself. She's old, so she basically just needs a warm place to rest. 


And it takes them all to bring the tractor back. My dad may need a bigger one for when they get bigger! Nate likes to drive it. Can you imagine what he'll be like this summer when we let him drive the boat?!?! 


And we found another bird's nest. No inhabitants so maybe someone will claim it. 

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