Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Over a Year Later

I have finally decided to come out of my blogging hiatus, shocking right?! The last year has been so crazy, rewarding, fun and full of a few firsts for us.

First things first, we bought our first house! For so long we have been renters because we knew we wouldn't be staying in those places for very long. We have no idea if Georgia will be our forever state, but as of right now I am staying put, at least until my girls have graduated highschool. I love their school and so do they, so leaving would probably cause me great distress. They're both doing so well and there is no way I am putting them through another move. So buying a house has been on our wish list for a long time. Every now and then I miss renting, for example when we have to shovel out money to fix a house problem, or getting a note from the HOA for having a weed in my yard, or something similar. I certainly don't miss not being allowed to make house changes whenever I wanted to, that has certainly made home ownership fun. So far we have redone the kids' bathroom and completely redone the downstairs bedroom for Hannah. When we moved in, the basement bedroom was just an empty space with ugly carpet and we were making Hannah and Mallorie share a room upstairs. As you can imagine that wasn't going well, they fought constantly. So we ripped out the carpet in the basement and added nice flooring, hung new curtains, painted the walls and filled her room with all the antique furniture that I'd been holding on to for many years, and now her room is the nicest room in the house. Our fix up list is about a mile long, so I am excited to move on to the next room. 
Just a bit of a before and after. You can get a sense of just the sheer ugly color that the wall was before. Now it's a slate gray color, that sometimes has a blue hue to it, but for the most part is just a beautiful gray color. And that hand rail you see below is the color of the stairs. Why? Why, do people put silly putty paint colors in their house? I think their is no sane answer, but that is next on my to-do list. I wish I had an after pic, but maybe some other time.
I feel like I have so many other things to catch up on that I don't know where to start. Ava is officially starting Pre-K in the fall and Hannah will be an 8th grader, while Mallorie will be in the 7th grade. They both did so well in school this last year. Hannah continues to amaze me with just how easy she makes school seem. And Mallorie just makes me so proud, considering her teacher thought she was illiterate when we first moved here because she was just too shy to talk and read outloud. I still think of her 4th grade year as the year from hell for her. Poor thing. I was at the school probably once a month in meetings with the principal and all her teachers. Now, she's come out of her shell, and her being in the band has been an outstanding place for her to make new friends and get rid of some of her shyness. Ava is still in ballet, but adds tap this fall to her class. She gets to go to Pre-K with several of her dance friends and will be there three days a week. I must confess I am totally freaking out about her being away from me, but she'll have a lot of fun. She took swim lessons in May and totally rocked my socks off!! She's never been afraid of the water, but she wouldn't jump in or get her face wet. NOW, she's like a new kid. She learned to jump in, swim without floats and just not be afraid, and may I add, her back swimming is most impressive. I have to give credit to her teacher, she was so wonderful and made Ava feel completely at ease.
 We recently went on a vacation to Hilton Head Island with my side of the family and poor Mallorie got such a terrible sunburn on her face. Someone, who's name I won't mention, forgot to put sunscreen on his daughter before they went to the beach. He, I mean they put it on at the beach and then she got right in the water and it washed off. Poor kid was pretty miserable for the rest of the week. I used coconut oil religiously on all the blisters and it healed pretty well. It at the least stayed very hydrated and swimming in the cool pool also helped alleviate some of the pain.
PS...I HATE being in pictures, I'd rather be behind the lens any day, but we needed a new family pic. Plus, I pick myself apart everytime. For example, WHY didn't I straighten my hair that day??? WHY didn't I lose 50 pounds before vacation, ha? Kidding, sort of.
This is the best picture from all of our vacation pictures. Obviously it's not lined up, I wasn't even shooting at the moment, I just snapped it as it was happening without looking through my view finder. This was classic Bree, she's so happy go lucky and Holly was mad at one of us.
I have a new nephew and a new niece since I blogged last. My little sister had another daughter, Bree. She's too precious, and totally squishy! My sister in law had another son, Luke and he is just such a sweet little guy. I wish I could see them all more often, but thank goodness for smartphones, I atleast get a pic or video to stay caught up.
This picture of Luke and Tyler was from last summer on vacation in Cape San Blas, FL, so it's a year old, but I still love it.
I started back up at my gym a few months ago and took a leap and started going to a yoga fitness class. So far, it is kicking my tail. I am so sore some weeks, but I am noticing that I am getting better each week. And while it hurts while I am working out, I can't wait to go back for the next class. I'm not sure I will be able to take the class once Ava starts Pre-K, but there are a lot of other classes I could try. I kind of want to get back into swimming laps, but haven't done that yet. It takes guts to get out there in a swimsuit and a swimcap. Plus, I hate the feeling of being watched, ugh, sometimes I feel like that's all people do at the gym, ha.

The hubs is staying busy working, like always. Our weekends a lot of times consist of working in the yard or on a house project, but mostly we try to just relax and make sure he gets some down time so that when he travels again that next week he doesn't feel too tired.

I think I'm going to have to stop here for today and maybe blog again later this week with some more updates. The kids are asking for lunch, and since that's my job, I guess I'd better get busy. I hope you all have a great week!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Quick Update

My little strawberry choppin, sassy two year old is turning three in just under two weeks! The kiddo is so fun right now, she's bossy, opinionated, and loud, but so are all of us. She fits in well around the Brown house! We aren't doing anything too crazy for her birthday, probably just dinner and then a day that she chooses what we do. Also, we signed her up for ballet that starts next week. I bought her shoes and tutu and she is so excited to start. She already decided that all the girls there are her best friends.
Do you remember when I bought those beat down dining room chairs off of Craig's List last year and said I wanted to recover them? Well, I finally started. It took a LONG time for me to decide what I wanted to do. My first thought was using a nice burlap and then stencil in a big "B" on the back in a script type font, but I never could find the right burlap. Plus, I didn't know how well it would hold up long term. Then one night I went into JoAnn's and found fabric marked down twice that everyone in the house loved (except me), so I bought it. Thankfully now that it's on the chairs I like it.
Anyway, here is one of the chairs before with half of the nail head already removed:
Here is one of the chairs after:
Everytime I see it I think "Not my gumdrop buttons" like the cookie from Shrek. But the colors are nice and I like that the nail heads are now only on the back.
I hope to do a "how-to" post after I completely finish. It's a definite time zapper getting all the nails and staples out, but I'm having a blast getting them done. I'm also going to refinish the table top. I don't know if I ever showed you that piece, but it's very pretty with deep knicks all around it like kids were beating their silverware on the table. Weird. But if you remember the chairs were disgusting when we got them and now they're starting to look like there is some new life being breathed into them, so I know there is hope for the table.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Happy Super Bowl...(it is a national holiday now, right?? ha)

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Did I really let that many months slip away without a blog post??? Well, I obviously got my camera fixed so I've been getting back into the swing of things with my picture taking and having a blast doing so.

We had a warm front of 58 degrees come through today so we got ourselves outside to play. I had to put Hannah on my bike because she has officially outgrown her old one. She's a whole five foot, one inch tall now, thankyouverymuch!
Ava got a new bike for Christmas, but I was afraid to leave her side while she was on it so I couldn't get a picture. Maybe I will soon. This car was from Santa. She's seriously now the boss of the neighborhood.  Honking her horn she runs over her Mommy's toes and doesn't slow down one bit!

Anyway, we had a lot of fun and got a lot of energy out. 
For Christmas this year Mallorie asked for a bow. For hunting. She's all about it these days, even though she is scared to shoot her bow. Makes sense, right? We found her an awesome bow and I love it. I've shot it, along with my dad and Rusty and we all think it's wonderful.
She's terribly adorable shooting it. Hopefully we'll find her a place to practice around our house and she'll feel more comfortable.
At Rusty's Christmas party for his office he won tickets the the Nutcracker Ballet in downtown Atlanta. For some odd reason he didn't want to go so he gave the tickets to us girls, and since my Mom was in town visiting she got to go with us for a big girls night out. It was so amazing, and I am not being dramatic. Our seats were orchestra a few rows back and I don't think I'll ever want to sit anywhere else. They even had "snow" fall on us during a part of the performance. It was so magical for the girls, their faces were smiling during the entire performance. 
By the way, I think I have the most beautimous kids on the planet.
After our fun with MiMi here in Georgia, we all drove down to Texas to have the rest of our Christmases. I got to take some pictures while there and had such a wonderful time.

Miss Holly is growing up so much. She's a busy girl and wasn't too willing to let me take pictures of her. I had to work hard to get so much as her eye contact. She was much more interested in waving at the trucks going by and trying to run away. Oh, she's fun!
This is the one of the ONLY pictures I have of her intentionally looking in my direction. What a cutie pie she is.
I also got to take Senior pictures of Rusty's little brother. I feel very strange knowing that he's about to graduate high school. I started hanging around Rusty when Heath was only 3. Ava's age. Disturbing. I remember one time we were swimming in their pool and my sister was with us. Heath was around 4 at the time and being a toot and pretended that he drowned. My sister freaked, and Heath came up laughing. Rotten!
Now he's still rotten, but such a good guy. We can't wait to see what he does with his life and where he ends up.
Christmas break flew by, we travelled back home on New Years Day and it's been a blur ever since. School started back today so I had tons of time on my hands and didn't know what to do. Who wants to clean, puhlease! I did finally start recovering our dining room chairs. I'll have to do a before and after soon. I am very proud of where this is going. One chair is done, Five more to go. It seems daunting, but I'll get it done. Rusty was a huge help getting the staples and nails out, so I think I'll ask him to help me some more this weekend. It's going to look a million times better in there when they're all done. I had more fun recovering the chair than I thought I would, so yay!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday and that 2012 is wonderful for your family!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Orchard Time

Here's a catch-up post for the past few weeks. I feel so awful not posting more often, but there are many good reasons. Here are a few: a.)I have a toddler that is napping right now, or I wouldn't be writing this at all! b.) Homework takes over my life when the kids get home. c.)I'm lazy. d.) My camera is sick. It's so sad. One of the kids put my sd card in backwards and apparently bent or broke something down in there, so I have to get it fixed. It's a bit expensive, so for now I've been using my phone on my camera. I'm bitter, but trying hard to just let it go. I love my camera. Like, love it love it. I don't know why I asked one of the kids to put my sd card back in the camera, that was so stupid!

Alas, these are just a few of the reasons I haven't blogged. Plus sometimes I feel like I have the most boring life in the world. Apparently one of Rusty's coworkers makes him give an update every week about what we did over the weekend because we are always going somewhere and are doing something. I find that amusing because it seems so normal to get out every weekend and go somewhere or do something just to get out of the house. I guess if you work all week, mostly out of town you probably just want to stay home and relax. Not at our house.

So last weekend we decided that it was getting fallish enough to start enjoying the fruits of Autumn and go enjoy the leaves and pick some apples at an orchard north of us. I bought some tickets on Groupon several weeks ago (thank goodness for Groupon deals) for the orchard, so it was a perfect way to spend a weekend. We got to do apple picking in the orchard, petting zoo, hay ride and shooting apples out of a cannon. The kids had a blast. 

Well, I say the kids had a blast, Hannah pretty much just walks around acting like nothing is fun, but I know deep down she's having a blast. Oh, she is getting too old.
The petting zoo area part was Mallorie and Ava's favorite area. Mally would get the animals to come over to her and Ava would gently pet the different livestock.
We had a couple of tickets for the apple cannon so Mallorie and Rusty shot a whole bunch of tiny apples at targets and I took the other two girls for potty breaks. Rusty said he only got to shoot four apples and Mallorie shot all the rest of two full buckets. So fun!
Madam Apple Picker. She was so good the entire day.
Mallorie might have gotten hit in the eye by a rogue apple falling from the tree Hannah was climbing to reach other apples. I probably shouldn't have taken a picture of her, but I couldn't help myself. And Rusty's shirt from 10 years ago, I have to mention it because I'm always making fun of him for wearing his shirts til they fall apart.
No, it's not a full family picture, but it was the best I could get that day. This was standing in line for the hay ride. They had those yummy Mexican Popsicles conveniently placed next to the line, so of course the girls needed one. Thankfully I still had wet wipes from mine and Hannah's trip to Joe's Crab Shack in Cali stuffed in my purse because we had some messy kids! Doesn't Rusty look like he's saying, "Sarah, get this baby off of me!!". He does to me, she was a sticky mess.

We also celebrated two birthdays this month. Mally turned 10 and Hannah turned 12. I need to take a moment to let that sink in. It's still hard to remember that they are so old. We had birthday parties for each of them a weekend apart. This is the first time we've done separate birthdays. It was good, they were very happy to have a party with just their friends. I was happy because Rusty was home and he saw for the first time how crazy it gets with a bunch on loud girls in the house. He said, I thought girls just went to their rooms and gossiped and did hair. Poor guy. He is so clueless. I don't know if we'll do sleepovers anymore, they're exhausting. They never sleep.

I shot these pics yesterday and had to share. This is the neighborhood dog that all the kids just love, and the owner always lets the kids take him for a walk, so they just have a ball. 

OH she's silly. And now she's sick with some kind of cold and I know the rest of us will probably end up with it. Sick toddlers are NOT FUN!

This week it's really cold here, which I am loving, sort of. The kids have the most awesome clothes for fall, boots, cute jackets, etc. I look like a ragamuffin. My style is so laid back, I have got to get some cuter clothes, but I am getting so bad about shopping. It makes me stressed because I always talk myself out of everything, I wish I had a personal shopper. Just boom, show up with 10 perfectly beautiful outfits, tell me I look fabulous and then my imaginary billion dollar bank account will cover it all. That just won't happen this week though, so I guess I'll be going to TJMaxx soon, that way when Ava gets marker on my new shirt, I don't have to worry, it was on sale for $10!

Anyway, that was so random, but I just wanted to do a quick update while I had a minute. Hopefully Mr. Camera will get fixed soon and I'll be able to post some better pictures.

Have a great weekend!