{Front Door} Labor of Love

Ahh... here it is! The door collage from the beginning (minus original hardware that was on it when we bought it) to present. There are still some changes to be done, but look at that beauty!

Here are larger versions of the same shots. Sorry for the lack of straight on angle for this one. It was just too ugly.

We still need to:
Buy a sign from Ramsign (need to measure to make sure which choice is best and then order)
Paint trim
Paint threshold (and rest of porch floor some day)
Buy/build screen door

**Sorry for the small photos, Blogger won't let me resize them.**

{Outside} Hostas

I almost named this one "Hosta La Vista" but then thought that was too much...

When we bought the house 5 years ago, there were some hostas that we knew would need seperated. Fast forward 5 years and we finally had a weekend afternoon where Lily was asleep and we weren't planning on doing anything else. And it was a nice day out. Those three things (nap, free time, and weather) hardly ever happen when both of us are at home. So we took advantage of it and finally tackled the hostas. Or I did anyway, Doug was busy tackling the rest of the overgrown bushes, stumps, and cleaning up the backyard after Lily's playground.

I promise to some day take photos with my nice camera again and not my phone but this is easy and convienent, plus my nice camera has a dead battery. I know, I know, excuses.

So, what started out at a giant overgrown section of hostas ended up being over 25 different plants that lined the entire north side of our house (minus the porch, we're leaving that area empty for now) and then the entire south side "dead area" of our porch. I'd love to have put some in our back yard but Krypto is a plant killer.

Here are the beautiful hostas from a picture taken during a year that didn't include triple digit heat waves and severe droughts. I hope they return to this some day!

This shot shows that there are lots of other things growing where my hostas are. We've since removed all the random trees, the rosebush, and weeds. It'll be tilled up and replanted next year after we figure out the future arbor and fence to go around Lily's Garden.

 Here's what the area looks like this year. Horrible, right?! And please excuse the ugly blue tub. We have gutter issues and that collects the water that leaks. And that's the base of my grandmother's bird bath that we disassembled for the fall.

Here's the empty, pitiful spot along the north side of our house where Lily's Garden is. It's since been cleaned up and things properly put away in the garage to make room for the hostas. Well, except the hose rack 'cause I'll water again. The line of rocks were in place of a nasty, ugly ground cover that once was down the length of the house. A few years ago we got the rocks for free from my dad's work and put them there, knowing we'd get to the garden eventually. The rocks are going to be edged with the remaining bricks eventually to keep them in place. The grass will all be removed and mulch (maybe some day pea gravel) will be in its place as a way to walk through the garden.

And here are the hostas lined up against the north side of the house (reverese angle, sorry for the confusion). Don't get me started on the ugly wires. We pulled one down that wasn't attached anymore. One is cable, the other is electrical and may be the missing wire that works our street light in our front yard (that's never worked!).

Here's a clump I put in the front yard by our flag. I since repositioned the flag into the pot behind it, adding more height to the area and making it easier to see. This front garden will hopefully some day be my moon garden (all white flowers, silver and varigated plants) but it's a hodge podge of stuff right now. It's not high on the list, although I'd like to add more too it next year.

And here's the south side of our front porch where we put the remaining rocks and lined with concrete stones a few months ago.

{Front Door} Framed

I'm sorry I don't have any in between photos to show you the process of how this happened but my dad worked his magic (he's been in construction for 30+ years) and worked hard to help finish off my door. As you may remember, this is how we left off, cracked junk (insulation?!) and all. Horrible. But it's still better than it was in the beginnning.
Anyway, this is what I came home to today (and yesterday was about the same too, but I noticed a few small changes today). Isn't she beautiful?!!?
Notice in the pictures the round oval is still noticeable? Well, we have plans for that! It'll happen once we have a spare $100 to order a Ramsign for our house. And once we figure out what we want on it - our address, just the number or number and street, or our name? Decisions, decisions.
My dad sanded it and varnished it while I was working. He also made a frame to hide the ugly leftovers from a DIY project gone wrong (someone butchered the frame when they put an old screen door on). My dad's frame also helped close the gap that was covered up by some serious caulk lines.
The frame isn't finished. It needs painted a final coat but the white is a great step towards being finished. I love it! Now I just need it to be summer so I can paint the front porch and window sills and our front porch will be done.
Thanks Dad!!!
You can read all about the front door here, or by clicking on various posts. Here's what it looked like before, this is what it looked like when I finally took some paint remover and a scraper to it, and here are more of the steps that happened as I removed layers, layers, layers, and more layers of paint and built up caulk.

{40 Before 40} Update

On Labor Day I celebrated my 30th birthday with close friends and family. My parents had just gotten back from their trip to Alaska (jealous!) and had the party the next day. Aren't they great?!? I got some great gifts too 'cause my family rocks like that!

Anywho, this isn't about the party (sorry, no pics taken), but of my 40 before 40. I've been seeing more of these types of lists (mainly 30 before 30). I hadn't seen many when I wrote my list almost 2 years ago. That was before Pinterest went crazy though, so maybe they were out there and not easily found. So as I read other's, I think of items I could have added to mine but I still like my original 40. Except the BBQ one... 'cause my husband is great at it and likes to do it, so why bother? I still may do it. Who knows, maybe I'll have an all girl party some day at my house. Or really want a grilled hot dog or hamburger when he's not around...

My original 40 can be seen here.

10 items are officially done with many more in progress. There are a lot that have yet to be touched and I'd like to work on them within the next 5 years. The biggest one I'd love to do (well, besides baby #2) as soon as possible would be to get back to working on my photography. Thankfully for me, my parents bought me a new computer for a graduation gift. Which brings up a good topic - school is over, so I should have more time to work on said computer. That's not always the case though as this summer showed. But that's ok. Lily, Doug, my family, and my work will come first compared to the items on the list. However, many items are similar (many art related) so I'd like to focus on those too.

Speaking of my art... I never know if it's "good enough" to put online. I see other work online and think "mine's the same (or better)" but then I never get around to taking care of business. That should be my resolution ... taking care of business! Getting photographs printed, making some art, putting them online, and slowly building up a part time business. I saw a coworker friend of mine do it and hers has taken off! I am so proud of her for going after her dream that I'd like to do that too.

I'd start now but grades are calling me... the life of a teacher!

But hey, 10 items done! 25% in less than 2 years is pretty good! 

{Living Room} Progress

Pardon the crappy iPhone pic but that's what I have to work with right now..
Anyway, for those that know our house, you'll see a few things different. One is that we moved the big shelf unit (made by my dad when I was really young) from Lily's room to our living room. I wanted something else tall that would balance out the armoire that's sneaking in on the left side of this photo. The shelf is taller but narror and it helps a lot. It also frees up room in Lily's room. The stuff on the shelf isn't all permanent, but the bottom four shelves (two on each side) hold Lily's books and puzzles. You can see the purple bin that holds a lot of her little board books. I'll buy a nicer box some day but I'm working with what I have right now. I will say though that since we've moved all of the books into the living room, we have read a lot more. It's nice!
You can also see we started working on the gallery wall here. It starts with the large framed family piece (Doug's grandfather's item) and then we used what we had to fill in. It's not done but some have been hung since this photo.
I'm not fond of the green couch (there's also a loveseat and chair) but we definitely aren't going to replace any time soon. Maybe some day once these wear out. They're pretty comfy, although ugly, and I've even slept on these and it's nice.

{Review} Summer 2012

Now that Summer is over (not officially yet, but we're both teachers so we're working again), I thought I'd sum up what we did during our three months off. Well, my three months, Doug worked summer school so he didn't have as much time away.

Family Fun:
DIY Projects:
Bought more frames for our gallery walls (not pictured but it happened while at IKEA).

There were lots of other things too but I tried to hit the big ones. Have a great Labor Day weekend! My parents are hosting my 30th birthday party on Monday so I'm looking forward to that!


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