Monday, June 30, 2008

Another Busy Weekend

This past weekend, we headed to the airport for our final (for a while, anyway) trip to Southern California for Sara and Nate's Wedding. We flew into LAX on Saturday morning and Brett and Jen were kind enough to pick us from the airport, transport us all the way down to Riverside (where we all spent the night), and then schlep us back to LAX for a flight out Sunday evening.

Sara looked absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. Her dress was gorgeous. Of course, Nate looked very handsome. :-) Poor Grooms...everyone always talks about how beautiful the bride looks! Not only were we able to see Sara & Nate and Jen & Brett, but also Allison & Jack, Cristina & Jon, Amy, and Jen Adams. It was absolutely wonderful (as always) to catch up with the friends we miss sooo dearly!

What follows are more pictures than anyone should ever have to sit through - but it isn't often we all get dressed up and are all in one room long enough for photos. :-)


Meet Mr. and Mrs. Gapasin (below): Parents to Be: Allison and Jack (below):
Jack, Allison, Mrs. Howard, & Mr. Howard (below):
The Happy Couple (below):
Jack and Mr. Howard Showing Off Their Breast Cancer Bracelets (below):
Tri Delta Sisters: Amy, Me, Jen, Cristina, Sara, Carmen, Allison, Jen, Jessica (below):
Dancing Bride (below):
The Next To Be Married - Jen and Brett (below): Allison, me, & Jack Dancing (below): Mr. Howard and Jen (below):
Jen, me, and Amy (below):

Friday, June 27, 2008

Lunch with Susan, Diana, and Sophia

I was finally able to catch up with my friends for a quick lunch (in between traveling, in-law visits, and remodel projects). When Diana went on maternity leave in April, Susan and I missed all our afterschool visits and couldn't wait for her to come back in the fall. Then when Susan took a leave of absence from school to take care of William, I REALLY missed the two of them.

Now as things begin to get a tiny bit more normal for Diana and Susan, we were able to finally catch up. Everytime we hang out, I'm more convinced how lucky I am to have friends like them. :-) And, of course, an added bonus was that I got to visit with little Sophia (see picture above of her with her mommy). I cannot believe how quickly she's growing up.

Susan and Sophia (below):

Thursday, June 26, 2008

San Francisco

While Tim and Kathe were in town we wanted to take them to San Francisco. Tim had never been and Kathe hadn't been in a while, so we drove the car to BART, hopped on, and traveled to the city!!


Slightly Crafty

I really do not consider myself a crafty person. I know that sounds shocking coming from a person who loves scrapbooking. But even when you look at my scrapbooks, you'll see I'm a very "linear" scrapbooker. Everything is straight, symmetrical, and organized. I do not have dashes of color and ribbon freely floating in my books. Every picture, ribbon, or accessory is perfectly cut and glued and placed in my books.

So, it may come to a surprise to you that I did my first crafty/handy thing (in a very linear, organized way). When we were working on the back yard remodel, Kathe discovered two tables that had been thrown away on our side yard. She told us that we should refinish and repaint them and use them. So, when I got home from Jen's shower, I did just that. I scrubbed all the excess paint off of them, cleaned them, and then painted them. They now sit proudly in our backyard - the evidence of the one crafty thing I have ever done in my lifetime!

Before - Rusty and Very Old (below):
After - Rust-free and New (below):
Watch out! HGTV is beginning to influence me! Before you know it, I'll be hand-sewing curtains to match the chairs I reupholstered in my spare time. :-)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Christening of a Sort

The longer we live here, the more I dislike our colors in the formal living/dining room. Because of all our recent remodel projects, however, we will not be changing the color anytime soon. If the room has acceptable flooring, no protruding objects coming off the wall (i.e. faux rock), or major hazards, it will have to do for a while. :-)

With Mr. Howard's family in town, we were able to officially break out the dining room table leaf for the first time and have a nice big dinner on Tuesday. Katie and Denny, Mom and Dad, Kathe and Tim, and Mr. Howard and I all sat down and had a very nice meal at the table my dad made us last year - officially christening it in our new home.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New Flag, New Trellis

We finally replaced the flag holder that was on the front of our house, just in time for Fourth of July. I'm excited because I've always wanted flags for different occasions (Spring, Mother's Day, Halloween, etc.) and now I'll have a place to hang them. It was a simple thing to install and didn't cost us a lot of money, but made a HUGE difference in the way the house looked. It definitely made the yard look more finished.

Additionally, Kathe, Tim, and I installed lattice on the trellis we already had in the front yard. I tried to find a before picture, but we did it too fast (which is a good thing). I took two pictures to kind of show you where it is. The first picture shows the lattice from the driveway, looking towards the front door.

Looking from the driveway (below):
Looking from the steps, towards the garage (below):

It's so nice to be getting things done, I'm starting to feel like it's really all coming together!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Jen's Bridal Shower

This past weekend, I put Kathe and Tim on a plane to visit Timmy and Amee in Port Townsend, Washington and I hopped on a plane to Los Angeles for Jen's Bridal Shower. Because I'm off on summer break, I was able to spend Friday with her going to her wedding make-up and hair appointments, which is about the only Matron of Honor Duty/Privilege I've been able to do (darn Northern California). On our way back to Los Angeles, we stopped at HoSum (one of my FAVORITE restaurants) and who did we bump into? Amy Walton! What are the chances?!? On Saturday, we spent the whole day at Jen's shower visiting with friends I don't get to see very often. I was even able to get to see Allison and her beautiful growing baby belly. And then, Sunday (today), I left early and headed back to do a little on the house before I pick up Kathe and Tim at the airport tomorrow. Next weekend, we will be traveling to Riverside for Sara and Nate's Wedding!!

What a whirlwind past month!!!!!

Bathroom and Laundry Room Remodel

We have finished our bathroom and Laundry Room Floor Remodel. Tim hand did the floors for us, Kathe & Tim helped do the edging on the painting (they, unlike us, have the ability to "cut in" and not have to tape off all the corners), and then Mr. Howard and I painted the walls. Go Team Howards!

Our old laundry room linoleum and white walls (below):
Our new painted and tiled laundry room (below):
Our old bathroom linoleum and white walls (below):
Our new painted walls and tiled floors (below):
It's AMAZING how much a coat of paint on the walls and about 45 pieces of tile can make a difference!

Master Bedroom Remodel

Are you sick of remodel pictures yet????

Well, we have officially finished the master bedroom wall. Have you ever wondered how to fix a ridiculous looking wall with fake brick and a trip hazzard-worthy box in the middle of your floor? You've come to the right place!

Step 1: Begin Process of Removing Brick (below):
Step 2: Remove Drywall (below):
Step 3: Install Drywall, Remove Wainscotting, Tape off, and Sand (below):
Step 4: Prepare Room for Texture on Wall (below):
Step 5: Paint Wall, Step Back, and Admire New Wall (below)
Of course, now that we have a beautiful wall with no trip hazzard, we don't know what to do with it. We were thinking about doing a book shelf. What do you think we should put on it?!?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Graduation

My brother, Colin, graduated from UC Riverside this past weekend!!! The family attended his celebration on Sunday morning and then went to Taleo Restaurant in Orange County for a celebration lunch with close friends afterwards. It was a beautiful, but very short, weekend!

Me, Jordan, Ashley at the Celebration Lunch (below)
UC Riverside Graduation (below)
Sisters in the Sun (below)
Colin's Celebration Lunch (below)
Katie and Breanna (below)
Dinner the night before graduation (below)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Lucky, Lucky Us

Mr. Howard's parents, Kathe & Tim, are out visiting with us from Alabama. They arrived on Thursday and will be here for two weeks (with a brief trip to Seattle to visit Luke's brother and sister-in-law).
Thankfully we have been blessed with family who are so willing to help and the Howard's are no different. While Tim is here, he is helping us with a few projects:

(1) Install New Ceiling Fan (below):(2) Help us repair the drywall in our master bedroom after we rip out the brick
Seen below is the RANDOM brick glued to our wall in our master bedroom:
(3) Tile our laundry room and guest bathroom!
Our old linoleum (below):
Our brand new masterfully installed tile (below) in the guest bathroom:

Today we already got SOOO much done (and when I say "we," I mean Tim and my hubby). First we installed our new ceiling fan (stay tuned for after photos). Second, we ripped out the linoleum. Third, we installed all the tile (sans grout) in the bathroom (stay tuned for after photos). Fourth, we fixed the hardwood floors near the bathroom and re-did the edging. Fifth we began ripping out some of the bricks. Finally, we mortared the brick onto our outside brick posts (a few weeks ago we had ripped out a wood barrier that was on our front patio, which left four big holes in the brick post).

I can't believe how hard everyone worked!!!!! What would we do without wonderfully, supportive, helpful family!!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Flooring Continued

I am so excited that you can now upload video without having to use youtube. Talk about a time-saver! :-)

A friend, Lauren, who is also in the middle of a remodel with her husband recently said to me, "There are times when its all we can muster to get off the couch too. Is it bad that sometimes my thoughts are, 'How necessary is grout, anyway?'" Well, we have now owned the home for almost two months and we are still not done with the edging on the floors. Is it bad that much like Lauren, I'm beginning to think "How necessary is it that we put flooring in our office? Isn't concrete the new hardwood floor yet?!?" But doesn't that hall paint-job look amazing?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

$300 Down, $2,000,000 more to go!

We have now officially spent more at Home Depot in the last two months than we have on food and shopping in the last year!

We decided to go again today in order to buy a filter for the air conditioner, more edging for the floor, and a new ceiling fan with light to replace the ugly ceiling fan (sans light fixture) that we now have in the family room.

Someone tell me, when does it end?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Homeowners

June 1st came and went and felt surprisingly normal. While for most it may have seemed like a random day to celebrate, for us it was definitely a significant event in our lives. We made our very first mortgage payment! The most important thing about June 1st, however, is that we survived without having to give up food, driving, going out, or shopping. And, when the mortgage bill arrived we learned that somehow when it was all calculated out, it was actually $22 dollars less than what we thought it was going to be.

So, while June 1st may have been a rather low-key day for you, for us it was the first day I actually kinda thought of myself as an adult. If ever you would have told me that I would celebrate being in the most debt imaginable, I certainly would have rolled my eyes and scoffed. And now, here we sit, in debt up to our eyeballs - feeling magically happy!!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

All Finished

Ahhh, it's June 7th, 2008 and I am finally finished for the summer! I have never admired and respected teachers more than I have these past two years and it is for that reason that I say Thank You.

Thank you to all the teachers out there who thanklessly do their job, despite low pay, low teacher supply rooms (many, many teachers out there have to pay for their own paper, pencils, etc.), and sometimes difficult working conditions. Thank you to all the teachers who remain patient, calm, and loving in their words despite these above conditions. Thank you to all my high school, elementary, and middle school teachers that I didn't appreciate, thank, or always speak kindly to. Thank you to all the parents in the world who tirelessly support teachers decisions, drive on field trips, and teach their children strong values. Thank you to all the administrators who work hard to support teachers decisions and reinforce them to parents. Thank you to all the students who make coming to work worth it, who fight to make good choices, and who take responsibility for their own learning, even when it means seeking out help when they need it. And finally, thank you to the friends and family of teachers who never utter those dreaded words that teachers hear FAR TOO OFTEN: "Yeah, but you get to go into work at 9 and leave at 3:30 everyday!"

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