Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fun Times With New Friends

Today, Elijah and I decided to do something a little different from our usual tuesday morning play group routine. I had received an invite to get together with a few other mommies and their little ones and spend some time hanging out around a pool, so we decided to go make some more friends. You can never have too many of those, right?

I was a little nervous about going, because it started later... about an hour before Eli usually has lunch/nap time. Fortunately, my son loves being in the pool! We spent hours splashing, smiling and getting to know our new friends...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sincerely Sunday : Running That Dog

I'm on the verge of falling asleep, but I didn't want to miss another Sincerely Sunday post!

It has been a fun and crazy week in our home. It never ceases to amaze me just how busy life can be, and I'm even more amazed by the fact that I can't ever remember any of what happened come the week's end! All I can say is that we spent most of the week swimming and making the most of being Floridians :)

Yesterday, my parents were awesome and volunteered to watch Eli all day while Cliff and I joined his parents and his brother Matt for an offshore fishing trip. We had a blast! We met at the marina at 7:30 am and headed out with high hopes. We spent the entire morning looking for live bait, and then it was time for some action! By the time we got back to the marina, it was close to 8 pm. Years ago, I never would have imagined that I would like fishing so much, but I'd be perfectly content living on a boat and spending my days "running that dog" as the fishermen say :) I could go on and on about how great our day was, but I'll let the photos do the talking...

The Hubster and me.


Mom P. :)

We saw a bunch of dolphin and some sea turtles that made me smile.

Meet the Captain.

Our Bonitas put up quite a fight...

I got a little into it, I guess.

24 pounder!

I lost a lot of hooks...

Cliff's jack.

And mine. We kept catching the same type of fish at the same time. It was weird.

A tasty snapper :)

Matt hooked a nurse shark. (Don't worry... it's back to eating everyone's bait)

I was very excited when I found out that my new flips had a built-in bottle opener. So excited in fact, that I insisted on opening any drinks with bottle caps :)

My knots still leave a lot to be desired, but I am determined to get it one of these days!

Me with my fish and Cliff's mockery at it's finest :)

Kissy, Kissy little fishies!
(I love that he plays along, even though he thinks I'm crazy)

Our kingfish.

A few things I am thankful for:
1. Target... I love their stuff and I love their prices. Win-Win!
2. The power of prayer.
3. God's promise to complete the work he started in each of us.
4. Marble Slab's cookie drizzle ice cream... it's seriously like a party in my mouth.

"'Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?' The expert in the law replied, 'The one who had mercy on him.' Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise.'" -Luke 10:36-37

Current struggle:
Keeping up with the house. We've been so busy lately and it seems like whenever I get one thing clean, Eli makes 5 more messes for me to clean up. Having a messy home always puts me out of sorts. The worse it gets, the harder it is for me to find things which makes me a little looney. I think I've seriously lost my marbles.

What I am looking forward to:
1. The 4th of July!!! We'll be visiting Cliff's mom to celebrate her birthday and then heading to a party to catch up with some old friends. It should be a great time... Marines that are home to stay and lots of fireworks :)
2. Hanging out with my sister. She is always so helpful and time spent with her is full of laughs, good music and movie quotes :)

Things that made me smile this week:
1. It may sound horrible, but I'm not gonna lie... I was pretty psyched about catching a bigger fish than the men yesterday! :)
2. Spotting some sea turtles. They're one of my favorite animals :)
3. A few days ago, I had to wake Eli up from his nap to take my sister to work (her car is in the shop). He's been so cuddly lately, and this time was no different. He laid his head on my shoulder for a minute, then popped his little head up, very dramatically pulled his pacifier out of his mouth, gave me a big kiss, and laid his head back on my shoulder. It was the sweetest!
4. We have a routine that we follow every night with Elijah which includes giving him a bath, brushing his teeth, putting him in jammies, and praying with him...then kisses, cuddles and bed. Tonight, as we sat down to talk to Jesus, Eli started saying "Jesus." It made my heart feel so big :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Great Surprise For A Great Father

On my last post, I promised to fill you in on the project I had been working on for Father's Day. Out of love for my dearest, I neglected my blog to spend some quality time with the family instead. Sorry to keep you waiting, but here it is...

Cliff works hard and spends a lot of hours doing what he can to provide for our family and allow me to stay at home to raise our son. When Eli was born, Cliff had to give up his office for our son's bedroom. Still needing a place to work, our dining room quickly became his new office. Cliff is a computer programmer. He is also a musician who spent many years playing shows with his band and now leads worship at our church. Needless to say, he has a lot of stuff... mixing boards, guitars, amps, books, hard drives, cds, and things I can't even name. And all of this "stuff" has been crammed into his little space in an unorganized mess. So, I decided to surprise him with a new workspace.

I was first inspired by the Daily System I found on Pottery Barn's website...

Unfortunately, it was way out of my budget so I would have to make my own. I started by measuring the room and our desk. Then, I designed shelves on some graph paper and took them to my awesome father-in-law, who built them for me. After days spent sanding, painting, and preparing (all while the hubby was at work), my mother and Cliff's parents headed over on Friday morning to help me put it all together.

Allow me to first show you the embarrassing before photos...

And now the finished product...

Yay for custom shelving!!!
Using the same fabric I used on my reupholstered piano bench, I sewed together a simple curtain and hung it with a tension rod and clip rings across one side of the desk which allowed me to store stuff underneath.
I picked up this drawer deal at Wal-mart and only assembled the one drawer, leaving the bottom open for some of his equipment which had previously been stacked on a t.v. tray.
The drawer now holds some of the office supplies.
I gave Cliff a little more workspace by taking a tabletop from IKEA and placing it on top of two filing cabinets (which now hold all the paperwork we had been storing in file boxes) as I had seen here.
To replace the giant whiteboard we had, I bought white tile board from Lowes, had Cliff's dad cut it to the size I needed, and then put it into these frames which I bought on sale at Michaels. They are very similar to regular white boards, but don't erase quite as easily. I would not recommend doing this if you plan on erasing things very frequently. My husband uses them to keep track of his work and he doesn't erase items from the board regularly.
These shelves are perfect for holding his books and multimedia.
Many of the items that had been sitting on the bookcase, were organized by placing them into these labeled boxes that I got from IKEA.
This is the best part. I know my husband is very funny about having cords all over the place, but I wanted to avoid having the printer, mixing board, etc. take up surface space. This little contraption is my version of the recharge station from Pottery Barn's Daily System. After building the box, a hole was drilled in the top, bottom and both sides (matching up to the holes in the adjacent shelves). The cords are threaded through the piping and into the box which holds...
A power strip of course! The plug for the power strip is then pushed through the bottom hole to be plugged into the outlet. There is also a hole on top where Cliff can run a cord to plug in any of his little gadgets like his phone or iPod and they can sit there on the shelf to charge. So... no having numerous cords hanging down the wall and no mess of cords hanging out behind the desk, catching dust bunnies and wrapping themselves around your feet.

A new comfy chair (also from IKEA) was a nice little treat. I think the new curtains add a nice touch. I used a double rod to get the look I wanted. The sheerness of the white curtains lets in light, without making it quite so easy for our neighbors to see inside.

For my husband, my best friend, and the best father I have ever known... Enjoy! I love you so much!

And for the rest of you... thanks for being so patient with me! I hope you have a beautiful week :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sing Us A Song... You're The Piano, Man.

This week has been extremely busy as I've been working on a project for my wonderful husband for fathers day (more on that to come at the end of the week).

For today, I thought I'd share with you a piece of that project...my newest challenge... my piano bench reupholstery.

Now, before I even start, let me tell you that this definitely was not one of my best creations. But what kind of blogger would I be if I only showed you the good stuff, and never shared my flawed work with you?

So here it is. My hideous, pink piano bench...

Let's take a closer look...

Horrid, isn't it? I've been wanting to change it since we got the piano three years ago and was ready to start doing a victory dance around the house when I finally pulled the fabric off. But before I got that far, I took detailed photos so I would know how to put it back together.

From what I had heard, it's best to use a flat head screwdriver to loosen the staples, and then a pair of needle nosed pliers to wiggle out any stubborn ones. This worked as long as the staples were somewhat loose (which were few and far between). I also used a pocket knife, which I do not recommend. It definitely closed on me a few times. Fortunately, my pocket knife is extremely dull and allowed me to keep all my fingers.

Taking a few more photos along the way...

It helped to have a magnet to hold the staples as I went...


Then I laid the old fabric out over the new fabric, giving an extra inch and a half or so to each side as I cut. Without doing this, I wouldn't be able to pull it tight when attaching the fabric to the bench. I got this nice, thick fabric on sale at IKEA for $3.99 a yard!

Next, I placed the new fabric over the seat, centering the design as best I could.

This is where things went a little rough. As I said before, this is part of a project I am working on for the hubster, and the project is going to be a surprise. Which, of course, means that I couldn't ask for his help. Bummer.

Time to staple the fabric to the bench seat. I'm still not sure if it's the fact that I've never used a staple gun before and just have no idea what I'm doing, if the staples were the wrong size, or if there are different types of staple guns for different jobs. I suppose I'll find out after I show my darling. Whatever the problem, my staples left a lot to be desired...

Anyway, I started by stapling the middle of one end and then pulling it tight and stapling the middle of the opposite side to keep it centered. I did the same thing with the other two sides, opposite each other. Once I had my four middle staples in, I could work my way to the outer edges. The corners were folded in and kept in place with several staples.

Once the staples were in, I trimmed away the excess fabric.

Then I used the backing piece that was attached before, and stapled it back on to give it a more finished look (as finished as it could be with my cooky staples) and slapped it back on the bench!

Regardless of my staples, it turned out great! I was pressed for time so I didn't make the loop thingy to pull the seat up with. I'll probably do that some other time, but for now I am very satisfied!