Tuesday, September 26, 2006

What a BEE-U-TEE-FUL day!

Gosh...it is absolutely gorgeous out today. Blue sky this morning, not a cloud in it. A few are starting to come around now, but it's been breezy and warm, about 72 degrees. This is my favorite time of year. The girls went to school this morning and I went out to the shop for a few hours. It has been so nice working in the family business one or two mornings a week. I didn't realize how much I missed getting out with other people, and not just socializing, but actual working, using some of those brain cells in a different capacity than I have been for the past four years. I definitely can't complain that I haven't gotten "ME" time in the past. I do plenty of things for me, but working in a way that uses your brain differently, where people ask you questions because you are the one with the answers, has felt really GOOD! I've NEVER gotten that excited about keeping a clean and organized house!

Anyway, after hanging at the shop for a few hours, I went back to town to pick up the girls from school, but I first made a stop at the building supply store where I've been shopping for flooring and countertops. Currently, I have three rings of countertop samples in my possession and six different flooring samples. I had seven flooring samples yesterday, but returned four today, and picked up three more. I think I'm making some progress on narrowing it down. IT IS SO HARD! I didn't think it would be that difficult picking out this flooring, but it looks so different throughout the day, in the morning and day light, versus the evening, versus night when I have the lights on. UGH! But, I think I'm down to four that I like (well, three), but I think I like two of them better than the third. The three that I like are:

Toasted Maple Plank

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Blush Cherry Plank

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and Carmel Walnut Plank

I can't find a photo of this though.

The first two are definitely my favorites and I'm leaning towards the maple.

My cabinets are on the darker side, sort of like this color:

Sierra Oak
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They have quite a bit of grain to it. That's why I'm trying to go with a more subtle grain in my floors. I think if I went with the oak floors, it would just be too much. I have quite a large space and it's very open.

So, that's where I'm at with the floors. I was told that I maybe wanted to go lighter with the floors if my cabinets are darker, but I didn't really like how it looked. I don't like the really dark colors, but more along the same tone/color that I have in cabinets, just a different wood. Any thoughts? I could use some opinions.

As for the countertops, fortunately, I have a good idea what I want, so sifting through HUNDREDS of little chip samples hasn't been too bad, otherwise, I think I might have gone MAD!

These are the two that I've narrowed down to so far. I'm leaning towards the ButterRum Granite, as it's a stock color and would be the least expensive. I'm also planning on going back to a stainless steel sink. I really prefer stainless steel. It's a cast iron in here now and I don't like it. My appliances are all BLACK.

Butter Rum Granite

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Mesa Sunrise

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Which do you like?

That's what I've been pondering today. After I picked up the girls and went home, we had lunch and then went outside to play. They rode their bikes and we went on the "playground" in our backyard. I love the bench swing. I swing on that and the girls run around and slide a lot! LOL! Then we came inside and had some quiet time and they watched Zaboomafoo. HUGE hit around here. I keep a bunch of those DVR'd so we can watch anytime. Now, L & S are out with the next door neighbor girl, Lily. She is six and comes over to get the girls to play quite often. They have a good time together.

I've started not napping L & S again on certain days. So far, it's been going good. We had no nap yesterday and they went to bed at 8 p.m. and were out by 8:10 p.m. They slept like rocks until 6:30 - 7 a.m. VERY NICE! On the days they nap, we've been having issues with actually GOING to sleep, waking during the night, and getting up VERY early. I think they are definitely moving towards not requiring quite as much sleep as they did this summer.

Well, I best go make my Schwan's order up. I hate to be scrambling when he gets here. Brian arrived safely in Las Vegas. Not sure I mentioned it, but he is there for the week for work. I have a busy week on tap too, and THEN...(drum roll) I will be joining my honey for three days in Vegas without the kids. They are going to my brother & SIL's and the girls are ALREADY talking about it! They can't wait and I'm excited to get away with Brian too!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Life...is just happening...

I really need to carve out just a few minutes each day or so to just post a few things here. It seems like I just let it go and then I have so many things to say; some things get written about and others just get lost into my memories.

As I said, life is just happening; day to day things that are keeping me busy. I'm still trying to get settled. We're in somewhat of a routine, but I still have piles of boxes around to unpack and basically nothing on the walls yet. I think we may have a housewarming party in November and I'm hoping that will help me to really crack down and get things organized.

I am planning on having new laminate wood flooring put in the kitchen and dining room and also new countertops and a sink in the kitchen. I had someone come out last week to measure so I can start getting some quotes. I've somewhat narrowed down my countertop choices and I'm going to check out some bigger flooring samples to see how it will look. There is NO WAY that I can pick out stuff from a 2" X 2" sample! I'll have to find the samples and post a few of them. Maybe I can get to that today.

The girls are LOVING school. They look forward to it each week and I really like the consistency from going consecutive days. Last Friday wasn't our day, but we went on a field trip to the apple orchard. It was a cold, rainy, wet day, but we still had fun. The absolute BEST part is that I invited my grandma to go with us on the trip. I just can not portray to you enough, the joy and delight in my grandmother's face when I invited her along. And my girls were so excited that great-grandma Marcy was coming. We met at the school and we had to go inside so the girls could show her their classroom and meet their teacher. THIS is why I wanted to move here so badly. I think I would live in a shack and work in a barn to be able to give this opportunity to my girls and share their lives with my grandma, their grandparents and extended family. To me there is nothing more important than that. And now we are close enough to do those fun things, planned things, spur-of-the-moment things like popping by the high school to watch my nephew's flag football game or having a garage sale with my mom, aunt, grandma, SIL and niece...ALL things that we did this past weekend.

Anyhoo...I need to get some things done around here, but just wanted to give a short update. Like I said before...I have lots more to say, but today we are home and it's laundry day. I also have the Welcome Wagon person coming over this afternoon. They bring a basket and folder of stuff, coupons, gifts from the local retailers, etc. Isn't that the coolest? I'm sure there will be lots of things that we can use.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

New House Pictures (finally)!

I finally got all my house pictures uploaded and updated the captions. It took awhile as I had quite a few pictures to go through and then I tried to put them in some sort of order. I decided just to upload them to Yahoo. Click HERE to check them out.

We have a little work to do, but for the most part, it's really been updated a lot! Especially the bathroom. It's so pretty. I absolutely love the tile. I love all the colors in the main rooms, so I have no painting to do, other than the girl's room (which used to be a boy's room). We have new carpet throughout the house, new tile, and all new appliances. I even have one of those new Maytag front loading washers (need the matching dryer though).

Oh, and I have to tell you a cute story. I guess Sydney likes the colors in the house too. At the breakfast table the other morning this was part of our conversation:

Sydney: Momma, WE'RE in a storybook!

Me: We are?

Sydney: Yes, momma. We're in the Land of the New House...with all the beautiful colors. We have beautiful colors in our new house, momma!

A few things that I DO intend on changing is having laminate wood floors put in the kitchen/dining area and new kitchen countertops. The downstairs bath needs some work, but we're not worrying about that at this time. They didn't have many window treatments, so I need to work on that too, especially the big window in the dining room. Ideas? Suggestions? I am open.

At some point, we will also be putting in a wet bar and cabinets in the family room. It's already plumbed for that. I think that will just finish off that family room area. I am so excited about the custom oak cabinets built in in the family room too.

There is also enough extra siding in the garage rafters that we are planning on adding a third stall to the garage at some point. Plenty of space and since we have the siding, it makes sense.

I just can't wait to get everything on the walls, out of boxes, and put away. Then I'll be able to post some after pics too! I'm really enjoying having all this extra storage. It's made quite a difference for us going from 5 people to 4 in the house and then going from 1800 sq. ft. to 2700 sq. ft.

We're home.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I need more time to blog!

I thought I would pop on here to give a quick update. No, I've not fallen off the face of the earth. I guess I've just been extra busy trying to get this new home in order and all that goes along with that! I have so many things that I want to write and update about that I've even wrote it down on my list of Things to Do!

Lindsey & Sydney started preschool last week and it went really well. Even the first day, we had NO tears! I was shocked, actually. I thought for sure I would have some separation issues with Lindsey, but I guess all the talking about it ahead of time for weeks, months, years...helped. They are going to a local church school that has classes for Preschool through Grade 8. My niece, Chelsea, also goes there and the girls are so excited that they get to see her. This school is very flexible. As of right now, they are attending T-W-Th from 8-12. They really want to stay for lunch, so I may change it up after awhile.

This is what I overheard on the monitor on the first day of school. It was so cute! Sydney woke up first. "Lindsey, Linnnndsey! Wake up. Wake UP! We get to go to SCHOOL today!" Here are a couple pics from their first day.

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I still want to post some details on our vacation including some pictures. I also have house pictures. I hope I can get a few minutes to get those together as well. The pics I have are all of empty rooms before we moved in. The way it's going, I'll have all the after pictures ready too, by the time I get to this.

Oh, and Lindsey and Sydney have started a dance class called Just for Kix, so I wanted to update about that too. Keep watching for updates!

I just looked at my calendar and September and October are shaping up to be crazy busy months. We have AT LEAST one thing going every weekend, if not more, and now we're fitting in school and dance into the mix. I'm sure I'll look back on this someday and think how easy it was though.

One thing to look forward to during this hectic fall time though is a weekend away with my hubby! YAY! He will be gone to Vegas the last week of September for the SGIA show, and I am flying out on Friday for the weekend. We'll both come home on Monday. I'm VERY excited about this. We both love going to Vegas, especially hooking up with old friends.

But, even with all the stuff going on, we have made progress with unpacking and getting things in order. We finally got the girls' new twin beds (bunks, but not put up) together this weekend so they aren't sleeping on crib mattresses on the floor anymore. They LOVE them and haven't had any problem staying in them.

From Day 1 in our home, even with nothing unpacked, I've totally felt at home. It's a really good feeling. I can see us being here for a long time.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Too much to say...not enough time!

Honestly, I don't even know where to begin! We've been on vacation, and now since getting back on the 30th, we've been busy with our house closing and moving! I have so much to write and many pictures to share as well! I may have to do this in stages.

But first off, we had an AWESOME vacation! It was a little bit tiring, but we really enjoyed the time away, the friends we met and the things that we saw! Somehow we managed to travel 4,385 miles through 12 states in 11 days! WHEW! Now THAT'S a road trip! The girls are, well, frankly, they are the best travellers, probably better than me! LOL! Here is a little snapshot of the route that we took.

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We stopped in the following cities: Cheyenne, WY, Salt Lake City, UT, Brian Head, UT, Las Vegas, NV, Albuquerque, NM, and Wichita, KS.

Here is a picture of Sydney & Lindsey on Sunday morning (8/20/06, 6 a.m.) when we took off. They were rarin' and ready to go! We travelled a little over 800 miles that day and about thirteen hours to get to Cheyenne.

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I'm going to jump ahead and talk about our new home a little bit. We had a bit of anxiousness before the close, which happened on Friday, September 1. On Thursday, I contacted the mortgage processor to check in. I hadn't heard anything while we were gone, so assumed everything was fine. Our file was STILL in underwriting! It sounded at first like they might need to push back the closing a bit, but told us not to worry, everything was still going through. They just needed another underwriter to look at it.

During the afternoon, I received the call that everything was a go for the 10 a.m. close in the morning. I thought they had informed our attorney and sent the documents. The next morning, I got a call from the attorney saying they hadn't received any documents yet. So, I got on the phone again and they said no problem, they were sending them right over! So, the poor attorney's office was scrambling to get the HUD-1 statement done so that they could initiate the wire. We had our walk-thru at 9:30 a.m. and we told the sellers not to come until 10:45 a.m. We did get to go in at 10 a.m. and signed everything, but the funds weren't there for the seller. The wire finally did come through in the afternoon, though, and they were able to go pick up there check. It is officially OUR home (well, the banks, LOL).

Even though all I've done is clean (the sellers didn't clean anything) and we really haven't gotten much moved in yet, I'm loving it! I feel totally at home already. Yesterday I was able to vacuum and shampoo all the carpets and cleaned a bunch of windows and the woodwork. This morning I went back and vacuumed everything again. My mom and grandma came out and the three of us tackled the kitchen and bathrooms. The kitchen was a TON of work. My grandma was up on the counters vacuuming above the cabinets and mom jumped in and started working on the refrigerator. I began on the bathrooms. The girls played.

Brice came down and helped Brian for about three hours carrying all the heavy things into the house. We haven't really arranged anything, but most of it is in the house or the garage. There are just a handfull of things left in the container and some things in the extra storage unit. Hopefully, by Monday night, we will be fairly situated. We are staying at parent's one more night, but I think tomorrow we'll be able to sleep in the house.

The girls are loving the backyard and their playset. It's quite spacious, as we're on a half acre. Plenty big for us! I found out the house is actually bigger than I thought. The original plans were left there and it's 2656 sq. ft. We have two large decks and a patio. Here is the view of our back yard and one where you can see the one deck.

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Well, that's all I have time for right now. I came back to my parents so the girls could nap. Brian has the van and is moving a few more things. Later, we're are running over to some friends house to make an appearance at a neighborhood party. Then it's back to it tomrrow, bright and early.

The girls are supposed to start school on Tuesday. I'll be REALLY glad when we are all settled!
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