{Front Door} Spring To Do List

Ahh, Spring... it's right around the corner. And you know what that means... my to do list comes out. The same to do list that's been nagging me for a few years. You know the one... it's the one that starts with PAINT THE FRONT DOOR! I always want to do it on one of my school breaks so Lily is at daycare but the weather never coorporates. Or something else comes up. But I am sick of it! Last summer my dad helped take out the mail slot and filled it in so it's really time to paint it. Plus, I've owned the paint for maybe 2 years now. I even took pictures to blog about it... so here's the before... isn't it ugly?!?!

Beware... it's a very ugly door...

Look at the ugliness. The silver frame is one's left over from an old screen door. Long gone before we moved in. Same goes for the hinge on the top left. The mail slot has been removed (see below) but the ugly baby poop brown and red combo has to go! We bought new hardware when we moved in so you can see the original brown of the door underneath where a brass rectangle thing was that had to be removed.

Close up of the hardware. I'd pick a different color if doing it again but we liked it best of all the choices, so it's staying. Everything needs fixed on this door though, including the caulking around the sides.

It's actually slightly better than this as it's been filled with wood filler. But you can see how it needs a lot of work. The previous owners put a lot of screws and hooks in the door to hold various signs (I'm guessing) and none are filled in.

So I am going BLACK. No one agrees with me on the color but I think it'll look nice. It'll at least be better. I may change it at some point but black is what I've wanted for years now. I think it'll look good with the brick and the white porch swing we have. I want to add some personality to our front porch in the form of color, pillows and a few accessories. We have white beadboard on the ceiling which is nice.

We are also going to buy a screen door. It's picked out and everything... just have to remember which company we found it at! It'll either be in wood or I'm thinking white. It'll be nice to have a screen door though so we can open the door to both the front and back porches and get a nice breeze going in the warmer months. We'll just have to put some locks on it so the dogs and Lily don't escape!

Oh, and we're also either going to paint the mail box (already have it too) until we can find a new mail box. We want a vintage looking one but those are either impossible to find or super expensive. I did find a nice option though at Pottery Barn that is a modern version of an envelope that may match the door hardware.

P.S. Told you that door was ugly!

{Food} Christmas Cookies

Lily and I went over to my mom's to bake cookies before Christmas. Some of these aren't what we did but what my cousin and aunt made, but I thought I'd throw them all into one big mix of Christmas cookie chaos! Lily really got into helping this year and it was during her Pantless Week. She has always enjoyed sitting on the countertops and this year she was covered with flour and sugar!

{Vacation} Florida Vacation

Here are some more pics from Florida.

This aquarium is home to the DolphinTale movie where the dolphin was found and rescued after losing her tail. We didn't see her (Winter, I believe), but we did see a few other dolphins and animals. It wasn't all that great of a place, definitely Hollywood-ized after the movie. I wonder what it was like before it?! The dolphin above is named Hope, she was found nursing her dead mother at only 2 months old. Dolphins typically live with their moms for years so this was a tough situation for Hope. Luckily she's doing really well in their program and will be put in with new dolphins soon (she was by herself in a big pool).

This was taken at the same aquarium. After this showing of how Lily prefers the easier stuff in life - playing in the sand with her Bapa - and doesn't care about aquariums, we spent the rest of the vacation on the beach (besides swimming with the manatees).
More pics from the aquarium.

{Florida} Swimming with Manatees

For those that are family and close friends (aka my Facebook Friends), you have now seen these photos. But I'm going to post here too for the whole world to see. It won't be as many that's on there but I'll put up some.

Aren't they awesome!?!?

The boat captain said they would be bigger and more intimidating that you have your mind. It's crazy how true that was! I knew they were big. We saw a couple before we got into the water but to see one come up from below you as you snorkel on the water's surface is soooo different! They were feeding when we first got into the water and as they come up for air, they could bump into you! Crazy, right?!

Once they warm up to you, you can pet them and they will get super friendly! My mom was hugged (a lot!) by the big girl/guy in the picture and my dad was upclose and personal with one too as it chewed on his life jacket strap. I got super close too - I accidently kneed one as he came up underneath me. I felt bad but the captain said that it was normal and that they are more aware of where we are in the water than we are of them.

It was definitely a once in a life time experience and I am thankful that my parents took us! Lily stayed on the boat and we all took turns watching her (well, I never did - bad mommy - but the others did!). We were told that she wouldn't fully understand the concept and the water was cold (68-72 degrees). So she stayed on the boat and watched us as we swam with the big manatees. She did great on the boat! The only thing I would have changed was that we should have actually put her in the wet suit for a photo op but we didn't. It might have been torture, so it's probably better that we didn't.

So if you're ever in the Tampa Bay area, check out Captain Mike's Manatee Tours. It was great!

{Life Lately} 2011 in Review

Oh 2011... how do I begin to sum you up?! Let's start with GOOD RIDDANCE!

The year started off with the passing of my uncle, then continued to go downhill with the passing of my dog Rugby, a great uncle, a great aunt, my brother, and the grandpa of two sets of cousins (as in my mom's brother in law's dads (both of 'em) - yeah, hard to follow). It also saw the passing of a fellow employee, a friend's mom, and my cousin's family dog. Yeah, it was rough. There was other bad news along the way for friends and family. I know I'm missing something negative.

The good news?! ... It doesn't outweigh the bad... but I need to focus on it.

We adopted Beefy in January.
We celebrated our 5 year anniversary.
Lily turned 2 in May.
My aunt and uncle bought a house only 25 minutes away (vs the 12+ hours previously).
I started my new job in August.
I turned 29 in September.
My cousin and her husband had a beautiful wedding reception at a local art gallery.
We adopted Krypto in November.

We celebrated Christmas with friends and family.
We left for Florida (and returned on the 1st, ending the year on a good note).

Some other good news - weddings, babies (not mine - just a few friends and coworkers that have baby fever, plus my husband's cousins who have had one and the other is pregnant with another), and we all have our jobs for another semester of kiddos (lots o' teachers in the family!)

So what does 2012 have in store for our little family!??

I should graduate in May. I have two more classes to finish. I'm enrolled in one that starts in a week and the one following that is my capstone/portfolio class.
Hopefully all of us get contracts for another year of work!
Lily will turn 3!!!!
I will turn 30! How did that happen?!?!
And who knows... maybe some other good news will come our way that will outweigh all the horrible-ness from last year!

{Florida} Vacation

We are back from Florida! And because I don't feel like writing a long post, I'll just post some high lights. More posts and pictures will follow as soon as I get them all uploaded (having troubles with my usb port) and once they are edited.


The three of us flew down thanks to my parents getting us tickets.
Flying with a 2 year old was not as bad as I thought.
Layovers suck.
The Atlanta airport is not child friendly. It's boring and ugly.
Tampa's airport is child friendly, clean and pretty.
Our hotel was great - ocean views out our front and back doors!
Seagulls are insane.
Pelicans are fun to watch.
Manatees are amazing!
Swimming with manatees was a once in a life time experience!
Manatees are HUGE animals!
Some people need to shut up and follow directions around the manatees.
We saw one of John Travolta's Florida homes.
I still don't like sea food or the smell of it.
72 degree water is cold, even with a wet suit.
75 degree air temps are great in December.
Lily LOVES the beach.
Lily would have been on Cloud Nine if we sat on the beach all day, every day.
It's nice to be home and sleep in our own bed.
It was not nice to wake up and see it's only 26 degrees outside.

Now our normal life continues. No more vacation (well, in 2 days) and it's back to the daily grind. I go and pick up the dogs today. I'm thinking that the next time we go on vacation I will pay for a house sitter and not take them to the kennel. I just need to find a house sitter. Maybe my friend's daughters will do it?! Not important...

Lily goes back to daycare.
I need to clean up my classroom and prepare for my new set of 125+ students.
The hubs has practice to coach.
Christmas needs to be put away.
Cleaning the house.

I'll leave ya with a photo from the trip...

Oh, and I almost forgot... this trip marked off two of my items on my 40 before 40 list - Family Vacation and Go to the Beach. Woo hoo!


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