Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How Do I Love Thee, Let Me Count The Ways…

1. Matt and I spent the entire day on Friday cleaning out my garage and yard. When I bought my house the previous owners had left lots and lots of junk, pretty much an entire garage full, which I continued to add to, as I went through the house renovating it. The pile of junk had gotten to be enormous and quite the eye sore. Action had to be taken … so we loaded up the trailer three times to take the junk to the dump. And we also made one trip to the scrap metal yard to get rid of all the metals, which was the highlight of the day, considering we made almost $50.00 on our trailer of scraps.

2. Matt, Erin and I spent most of Saturday putting down new linoleum in the kitchen. I have never been a fan of the flooring that the house came with – it was dated, stained and torn in places. Since, I needed to buy new floor for the bathroom when we renovated it; I figured I might as well buy enough for the kitchen too. The process to put in the floor went so smoothly and within a matter of hours we had the floor down, the new shoe molding installed and the appliances put back into place.

3. Matt, Erin and I spent all of Sunday working on installing a new counter top in the kitchen. The old countertop was probably original to the house, so circa 1945 and it was stained and chipped on all the edges … and it never looked clean, no matter how many times you bleached it. The countertop that we replaced it with matches the breakfast bar that I installed last year. The install of the countertop was “supposed” to be the easiest part of the weekend, the old one should have just unscrewed, and we would use it as a template and then put the new one in. That OF COURSE was not the case. So the first full day of working on the install involved taking apart the base cabinets to get to the countertop – it appears that in 1945 they didn’t think anyone would ever want to update the look so they nailed everything together. Once we finally got that dismantled and got the new countertop cut we decided to take a break.

4. Which leads me to another reason to count the ways…. Sunday night Matt and I volunteered to take some engagement pictures for our friends. It was a great evening and we went to a nice quiet beach outside of Grand Haven to take advantage of the good light and background options. We all had a lot of fun even though it was chilly and windy and for some reason there were mosquitoes by the car. I think we ended up with several hundred pictures on our cameras, with that number even if we aren’t great photographers; one HAS to turn out great!!

5. Monday Matt, Erin and I were back to the countertop grind. We spent most of the day installing the countertop to the wall and cabinets, cutting the hole for the sink and then getting the sink to fit snugly into position. Of course that is easier said than done, considering that everything had to be measured in 100 points and cut different amounts to make it fit. Old houses are so much extra work! We ended the weekend with a cook-out with friends and additional tweaks to the countertop! I think we are all looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend in a few days and taking a vacation from the long work-filled weekend.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Butterflies Are Blooming

Matt and I had been talking about going to the Butterfly exhibit at the Fredrick Meijer Gardens for the entire Spring, but we didn’t know if we could fit it into our schedule and if we wanted to brave the crowds on the weekends. The gardens offer the exhibit every year, but only for a few weeks. Foremost's Butterflies Are Blooming features more than 40 species of tropical butterflies native to the rainforest habitats of Central and South America and Southeast Asia. The Lena Meijer Conservatory provides ideal levels of heat and humidity for butterflies to thrive. And because there are no natural predators present, the tropical guests can live their full lifespan in comfort. We ended up going on the Tuesday night of the week between my semesters and it was a perfect time to go. The weather was great and it was very empty, no lines for anything. We took the extended walk through the sculpture gardens and had a great time testing out my birthday present, which was an awesome image stabilizing mega-zoom lens for my Rebel.

Soooo Big!

It is so much fun to have visitors in Grand Rapids, and this past Thursday we had a great time when Katie, Luke and Blake Tomasoski came down for the night. I do wish that they were able to stay longer – there are so many great things to do in town … the zoo, the children’s gardens, the beach, the children’s museum, the carousel and the amazing parks, but they were on a really tight schedule which included attending Michael’s graduation and visiting family. It is amazing how much Blake has grown since we saw him at Thanksgiving, he is very animated and loves to gives smiles and likes to talk. I was so surprised at how comfortable he was in our house and how cuddly he was with his Auntie Erin and Auntie Meagan. It just warms your heart to get a smile and a snuggle from that little guy!