Monday, January 12, 2015

{Family Vacation} Part 1 - Springfield

After Christmas, my family (my parents, Doug, and the kids) took a trip. This year, due to Nate being more challenging (and young), we stayed close to home. Although in years passed, we've gone to Florida and Alabama. We do plan on going to Florida (possibly) again next year so if you have any recommendations and good beaches, I'd love to hear it!

So this year we stayed close to home. We went to Springfield for one night and my dad watched both kids while my mom, Doug and I went on a tour of a supposedly haunted castle, known as the Pythian Castle. Now, we thought we were actually going on a haunted tour. We got more of a haunted history tour in a group that was way too large. The place was beautiful and we'd love to go back to do a real haunted tour as a lot of things seem to happen there. It was interesting to say the least!

Below are two rooms in the basement. The first was once a gym type area. The second is the tunnel that lead to the boiler room and laundry that were housed in a separate building. The tunnel is supposedly haunted of a man who roams the area. Although we didn't see anything, I definitely felt like I was being watched in the tunnel! It is closed off now but you get an odd feeling down there. 

Below is what used to be a bowling alley. Nice orb, right?! 

If you read the blocks from the other side, they say "ICUDIE" .. I read it as "I see you DIE" … scary, huh? And let's just take a moment to look at the creepy doll. These were both in a room that used to house various kids of different ages. "Petey" is supposedly still there. This is also the room that my mom was poked in and no one did it.

Talk about creepy!! 

Be sure to check back for Part 2 - The Fantastic Caverns and Part 3 - Branson.

Friday, January 2, 2015

{House} 2015's Plans

The past two years (well, more, but those are documented), I wrote down plans I'd like to accomplish. So… instead of adding more to the list, I'm going to continue with what I have yet to finish. Maybe this will be the year!

I will say one thing… 2014 saw the idea of moving and/or building a new home for us. That put a big change of plans in our heads so we're rethinking a few things we had originally planned for our house. But I'd still like to do a few things…

2014's list:
1. Redo steps to our upstairs
2. Remove holly (the only surviving bush in our front yard)
3. Remove grass in Lily's Garden and replace with rocks/pea gravel
4. Paint shed
5. Work on the Backyard Playground (reuse stepping stones, add rock box, fence it in, anything else?!)
6. Add more fruits and veggies to our garden
7. Add shelves to my office
8. Possibly do the bathroom and/or work on the kitchen instead
9. Paint stairwell to basement

And well, only a few got finished… #2 and #3.

So, 2015's list:
1. Redo steps to our upstairs. 
2. Paint shed.
3. Work on background (simplified to include many things, not just the playground)
4. Add more fruits and veggies to our garden - this will be yearly, although some did get accomplished as we planted blueberry bushes
5. Add shelves to my office.
6. Bathroom and/or kitchen
7. Paint stairwell to basement

OK… so I'm adding more things..

1. Paint all exterior trim white (window sills, etc.)
2. Paint front porch floor, possibly ceiling
3. Paint back porch floor - hopefully the same color as front porch, possibly even the shed's walls to tie all three spaces together and to minimize amount of paint purchased
4. Paint trim around door (this may go with #1 unless I choose a different color). 

Other people use buzz words for their year, but mine should just be one word that'll cover the majority of my tasks… PAINT! 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Happy New Year!!

While this year didn't see a lot of major changes, I can honestly say my favorite (and well, the only one really) was finally seeing the final stage of Lily's Garden. I'll admit that it'll never be "done" as a garden is always changing and growing, but the big stuff is done. The final beds were added, the grass was all killed, landscaping fabric was laid, and rocks were put down. It is a huge improvement over the boring grass that was there just a few years ago. And I love it! I look forward to the Spring when I can see my plants again and work on dividing some up and moving things to our back yard to add some character there.

Another fun thing happened in our front yard (right in front of Lily's Garden) and that was the creation of the Blueberry Bed. We (and by "we" I mean Doug) created the oval with heavy rocks, we filled it in, and added our two bushes. One doubled in size, the other not so much. But we picked a few berries off of it and Lily loves it. It won't compare to my parents' farm (they have probably 15 blueberry bushes, if not more), but it's nice. 

Other highlights of the year included Lily starting kindergarten (she loves it!) and Mr. Nate turning one. It's been a very busy year and I look forward to what 2015 has in store. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

{Inspiration} Kitchen Loves

The above two photos are from FrouFrugal. Talk about a great kitchen remodel!!

I still love the idea of a white kitchen but the added interest in the brick wall and wood textures, above, are great. I think that if we were to recreate a similar look in our kitchen, I'd definitely do as much of the above as possible but with the wood look tile and a different countertop. Tile and I don't mix. See our current kitchen tile as evidence. 

I feel that if Doug and I (and we can't forget our secret helper, my dad!), were to tackle our kitchen… we could do this! It would go against our "add insulation everywhere" plan but since we're also on a nonexistent budget, this would fit. We could expose our brick walls, possible seal them(???) and then add bits and pieces as we could. Our floors need fixed, we have great trim already that just needs painted, and we could add a small island like above. I feel that it would be doable with time. 


Doug and I both LOVE this look… and that may be a first. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

{Nate the Great} One Year Old!

Last week, this little guy turned one.

He's a handful in all the good ways. He's all boy, all energy, all the time.

He's in 18-24 month clothes, size 5 shoes, and size 3 diapers.

He's around 26 pounds. His yearly check up has been pushed back until Thanksgiving due to us being off since the beginning. But, he had a "sick child" visit last week due a bad diaper rash so we got him weighed. Not sure on the height but he's tall, at least to me.

He's had his third haircut recently. It's a very blonde strawberry blonde, so it'll be interesting to see where it goes. 

His eyes are still blue. I love my blue eyed babies! 

He's been walking for over a month now and is excellent at it, except when he tripped on the pumpkin vine at the Pumpkin Patch and bit into a pumpkin. 

He's ornery but I love him. He'll be the most stubborn kid I know,  I'm just positive.

He's definitely the best thing to our family since Miss Lily. He completes us and I can't wait to see what the next year (and more!) have in store for us.

Friday, October 24, 2014

{Family Fun} Pumpkin Patch

Last weekend we spent some time at our local Pumpkin Patch. I ended up getting some great photos (they're on Facebook for family to see) but after looking through some old photos, I thought I'd put together some highlights over the 6 years we've been going as a family.

2009 - a bright, beautiful day that ended up a little colder than I would have wanted, or that I had planned for. Lily was a good sport until the sunflower group photo.

2010 - a nice, warm day with a very mobile 1 1/2 year old Lily. 

2011 - our little fashionista with hair all over the place. I love the sunglasses and purse combo. The photo on the right continues to be one of my favorites, allowing a glimpse of what older Lily would look like. 

2012 - A fun, sassy Lily with an adorable dress made by her grandmother. 

2013 - our last outing as a family of three as Nate arrived a week or so later. 

2014 - a fun family of four (plus my parents and some friends) event that included some bumps and bruises to our almost 1 year old. Lily may be getting bored with some of it but handles it all like a champ, even though she's not a big animal person. 

See those giant pumpkins in the lower right hand side above? About a minute after that photo was taken, he tripped over a vine and face planted between two of the giant pumpkins, cutting into one with his teeth.


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