Monday, April 30, 2012

An Afternoon on the River

Yesterday Nick, Millie, Stephen Grande, Stephen Small, and I went to the Alabama River. It's not Lake Martin, but it sure is fun. It's five minutes away, and it is a great place to ride a boat, play in the sand, and ski.

Yesterday was beautiful.
And these kiddos loved it.
   She needed a nap on the way back to the car.
The river can be tiring to a baby.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Low-Key Week

This past Sunday we hosted a crawfish boil for our Sunday school class. I meant to photograph the event but this is all I ended up with: the live crawfish and my centerpieces.
I was really excited about these centerpieces. They weren't perfect, but I was able to use my new garden. I mixed all the herbs and roses. The white flowers are from a bush in the front yard. Using what is in your yard is the easiest way to decorate. I went to the Mother to Mother class at church this morning, and the topic was hospitality. The speaker talked about this very topic of decorating with your yard. A bonus to decorating with herbs is that it smells amazing.
The crawfish boil was fun! So fun I forgot to take pictures. 

The rest of this week has been low-key and quiet. 

I had two tutoring students that I'm excited about. Both are sweet middle school girls.
We have been playing outside a little more. I try to get in the pool every time, but the water is still too cold. 
Housework got a little backed up. I'm blaming it on my lack of sleep. I haven't been sleeping well this week. I either wake up in the middle of the night or extremely early in the morning, and I have trouble going back to sleep. I'm hoping this stops soon. 
Millie has been fussing a little more than normal. She has two teeth coming in, and I think they are bothering her. She has also started whining if she doesn't get her way. I'm hoping this stops soon too. 
On an exciting note, Millie got a new baby girl cousin today. Nick's sister had a baby girl earlier today! We can't wait to meet her next month! 

Also, our garden is growing. 
 Tomatoes are getting big.
Can you see the tiny jalepeno pepper? 
As for the weekend, it is going to be pretty relaxed as well. I'm hoping it will finally be hot enough to get in the pool. I'm ready to swim.

I hope you all have fun filled or low-key weekend.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Back Yard Makeover

We have always enjoyed our backyard. Just like any house, some things just need fixin' up. We decided we needed a taller fence when the house behind us was on the market. I walked out our back door in my bathing suit (7 or 8 months pregnant), and I could see the realtor and prospective owners standing on their porch. I ran back inside and waited for them to leave. They did not buy the house. I hope it wasn't because of me! It stayed empty for a few more months. This was a perfect time to tear down the fence and put up a new one. Nick built the taller fence last spring. Now we can't see our new neighbors on their porch, and they can't see us.  
Then this spring he tore down the chain link fence along the driveway. 
Those were the only 'before' pictures of the fence I could find. I like how Stephen Small is in both of them. In the second picture he was pointing at a plane. 

Nick is awesome. We didn't have to buy anything but some nails and parts of the door for this new fence. Nick used the panels from the old shorter fence that was lining the back of the yard to create our 'new' fence. I'm so thankful to have a handy husband. 
  After a spray with the pressure washer. 
It matches the newer fence now.
The next project was not a fence. We needed some sort of drainage system to help out our yard that seems to be constantly wet.
Fortunately, part of this was already done by the previous owners. They already had the drains in place that lead to the street. We (and yes I helped with the digging) had to dig up this part of our yard to place the drains. It has helped tremendously.
Next was another fence. Our third and final fence was the wrought iron one to protect babies from running into the pool. And yes, Nick built this one too.
We also did a little gardening. I usually have pots of herbs, but they are also baby magnets. We decided to do a garden on the other side of the pool.
We already have a few tomatoes growing, and all of the herbs have grown tremendously since I took this picture. 
I also love having the knock-out roses. I constantly have fresh flowers in the house. 
They are short now, but I think they will look good once they grow a little taller. 
Our neighbor has some that are at least 6 ft tall. They are beautiful!

And finally the pool itself. A lot of people say a pool is a money pit. It can get expensive, but when you enjoy it and use it as much as we do, we don't see it as a waste of money.
A few weeks ago I told you about the rip in the pool liner. This is what our drained liner-less pool looked like for a few days. 
Then our new liner arrived! The hardest part was waiting on it to fill up. 
It took over three days of constantly running the hose.
We haven't gotten our water bill yet.
It may not be perfect, but we like all the transformations.

And we are enjoying the heck out of it!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Wonderful Day on the Plains

Last week we went to Auburn for the afternoon. Nick had to defend his thesis for grad school. He defended it, and the professors declared him a master of civil engineering.

He still has one test left before he is officially finished with grad school.
Whoo hoo! It's been 4 years. It's hard to be in grad school and work a full time job, but he has done an awesome job with juggling both of these.

While Nick was defending, Millie had a little photo shoot on Samford Lawn.

Millie and I then strolled around downtown. We went in every store, and I didn't buy a thing.

Except some Toomer's Lemonade.
It was delicious until the bottom of the cup broke on the stroller. At least I got to drink half of it.

Then Millie and I went to have a seat, enjoy a snack, and read a book.
We also watched and listened to a campus tour group come by. The tour guide explained all about the seal (located behind Millie in the picture below) and the curses that come if you are to step on it. It was funny watching students avoid the the seal for the next 30 minutes. Some people got dangerously close before realizing their mistake. Then they would jump out of the way. Don't worry. Millie didn't step on it either. Her Auburn future is still good.
 Then it started raining, and we went to the car until our daddy-friend was done.

The three of us then enjoyed a celebratory lunch at one of our favorites: Amsterdam.

We ate a turkey wrap, crab cake avocado sandwich, sweet potato chips, and blue moon on tap.
I can't explain how good it was. So I'll leave that to your imagination.

The rain stopped, and we decided to have another photo shoot before heading home.

This trip also took the place of Nick's graduation visit to Auburn.

For a long time he was going to actually walk in the graduation ceremony. Neither of us walked in our undergrad ceremony because we were getting married the next week. So we have been talking about going to Auburn for graduation for a long time. However, graduation is on a Monday, and the closer it got, the more Nick changed his mind. So going to Auburn last week was perfect. It was fun to watch college students walk around and reminisce about my time there. It was nice to enjoy Auburn without the graduation crowd.

Congrats Nick on almost being finished. We are proud of you!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Lunch

Nick and I enjoy the tradition of hosting Easter lunch. Yesterday was our fourth Easter at our house. We've enjoyed having friends and family over to celebrate such a wonderful day.

Let's start with the food.

I made an onion dip that I thought was pretty good.
To honest, I liked it a lot!
Like sister said, "everything homemade is always so much better."
Click HERE for the recipe. And the best part is, I had all the ingredients, minus the veggies.
I did not take a picture of any of the actual lunch. I was too busy eating. 
But we had chicken fingers, broccoli slaw, hash brown casserole, green bean casserole, and creamed corn. It was all delicious!
I did photograph my strawberry cake. 
To be honest again, I liked this a lot too!
 Here are few snapshots of the little people. 
Sorry we didn't get any pictures of the adults.
We also forgot to take a family photo.
So we got individual shots with our baby.
I know I am not photogenic. Not photogenic at all. Never have been. And sun in the eyes doesn't help.
So I think this is out best picture.
It is candid and natural.

This girl also turned 10 months old yesterday. 
We think she is just great!
I hope all of you had a wonderful Easter!

"Jesus said to her (Martha), 'I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?'" John 11: 25-26