Philly freedom

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I have the nicest husband ever. I've always known that. Even before he was my husband when we were just a coupla kids in high school, I knew. I just never told anybody then so as not to ruin the rep.

He decided to meet me in Philadelphia after my meeting on Saturday so we could spend the weekend together. Just the two of us. I can't think of the last time we were able to do that.

Being across the country from both sides of our families ever since we married has never afforded us the ability for a couple get-a-way. We need that from time to time, you know?

So even though he had only dropped me off at the train station 8 hours before, my heart skipped a beat when I saw him standing in the hotel lobby, all dressed up and sporting a new fitted jacket. He was on his phone, calling me so I could direct him to where I was sitting in the large lobby. We turned to see each other and continued to talk on the phone as we walked to meet. I couldn't help but let a huge grin overtake my face. This was going to be a great weekend, I thought. And it was.

We walked all over downtown, shopped at a few favorite stores, visited the Reading Terminal Market, and sat at a romantic table tucked in the back of a nice restaurant.

We meant to get back home early the following day but we played hooky a little longer and didn't return until the evening. The kids texted us to let us know they were all right and hoped we were safe and having fun. It was role reversal. Even mom and dad break curfew every now and then.

Waiting to begin the conference.

Do you know how many lights are on the chandelier? I do. My mind kinda wandered at times.

Fabric workshop and museum. Cool, huh?

Night time

Back alleys

William Penn welcomes

Fun shops

Buying treats for the kiddos at the Reading Terminal Market

Brought home new measuring cups

The end.

Railroad song

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Today I am on a train bound for the City of Brotherly Love. Is it bad that I am more excited to hit some shops after a work conference rather than being excited to learn something at that conference? I didn't think so.

Have a happy Saturday!


Bowl me over - Friday finds

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pun totally intended. It's been a while for this segment because of the work schedule but I was finally able to make a stop to my favorite and best priced antique mall around. Ah, it was fun, even with a 3 year-old picking up everything. We have a rule. He stands with his arms behind his back when we go into a booth and if he sees something he wants to look at, he'll tell me and I'll hand it to him so we can look at it together. I usually have my hands under his just in case. But 5 kids and a million shops later, we've never broken anything. Charley did almost get her eyes scratched out by a cat at one shop which required a trip to the Dr. and a shot for her but that's another story...

It seems weird that I get excited about a bowl, I know. But when I find vintage Pyrex randomly placed at a thrift or antique shop and they're in good condition, I don't pass them up. Do you blame me? They are so cheerful. The newest acquisitions are front and center, the orange with wheat stalks and the beautiful blue. They were $2.00 each. I haven't paid more than $6.00 a piece for any of them, even the large ones to the left. After reading the article below, I think I've been getting a good deal. I have to start washing them by hand so the designs don't fade but no one around here minds that - less for them to load into the dishwasher.

House of Hepworths

Apron Thrift Girl

French Country Cottage

Every day randoms

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

- Taught a class for the Library again. Then while I was at the Library for work work, they asked me to teach a class next month. Time to start creating.

- Jon took Blair to a birthday party and she came home with a fun goody bag. Jon came back with a fun one too: fresh free-range eggs. Our friends who hosted the party gave them to him. Nice, huh?

- I don't like it when the kids put an empty carton of something back on the shelf. They're going to be bummed when they open the freezer and pull out the ice cream tomorrow. Paybacks.

-As I was dressing Trae today, he asked how old he was, meaning what number was on his shirt. I don't correct him on his speech. It's just too precious. It was number 72 so I told him and he went happily down the hall saying, "Yay, I'm 72 years old today!!" with karate chop sound effects. Three year-old boys are awesome.

- Adult drama is just juvenile drama starring old people.

- Snuck away with Jon to get some sushi one night and then snuck away to our favorite coffee shop another night. I love spontaneous, small outings like that.

- My nephew is leaving today on a church mission to Germany. I remember when he was born in Germany when I was in Japan. Time flies.

- We put the flooring down in the bathroom and it looks great. I keep walking around in there for no reason.

Thought for the day

Sunday, February 19, 2012

"The crisis of today is the joke of tomorrow."
~H.G. Wells

Certainly, there are some crises that are no joke. But I'm not talking about that type. This quote is to remember not to take yourself too seriously in other ways. It is tedious to be around a person who wants to make more of things than they really are. Don't be that way. Life's too short. Besides, laugh lines look so much better on you than a furrowed brow.

Zombie bathroom project

Thursday, February 16, 2012

We only have the weekend to work on the bathroom but because the weekends can be just as busy as the weekday, we keep getting stalled. After looking over the space and assessing all that still needs to be done, I realized that my mud and taping drywall ability (or lack thereof) is not up to par. I couldn't get the seam right above the sink to come together smoothly and it was going to stare me in the face everyday. I painted the wall but no amount of paint was going to mask it.

I had a lipstick on a pig situation here.

I needed a solution quickly. Since we moved in we have wanted to do a high board and batten treatment (similar to picture on left) throughout the house like our friends did in their beach house 6 years ago. Since the bathroom is a small space, it's the perfect place to test my skills at installing a whole wall of moulding and cover the 2nd grade drywall job. We've installed chair rail before so this shouldn't be too much different.

So, off to the home improvement store Trae and I went and came back with nicely ripped 4" wide strips of exterior grade wood. Although I just extended the life of this project, which is why I call it the "zombie bathroom" because it just won't die already!, it'll be better for it. And it won't bug me anymore...
So until that is finished, I'll show some of the components on my board below that I am waiting to install.

Any zombie projects in your life?


Have a good day! ~Laura

Love notes

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I was awakened to find 5 little love notes on my pillow.

They'll go with the rest of the stash from years past.

I look forward to reading them again in a few years
to see how the handwriting has changed but hope the sentiment hasn't.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thought for the week

Sunday, February 12, 2012

"Faith and doubt cannot exist in the same mind at the same time, for one will dispel the other."

~Thomas S. Monson

Please don't take my Kodachrome away

Friday, February 10, 2012

Sadly, sometimes with progress and invention, a few of the good old things fall by the wayside.
Such is the case with Eastman Kodak. Founded in 1881, Kodak was synonomous with photos and was well-known for its Brownie and Instamatic cameras and famous film boxes. But they couldn't keep up with the competition in the 1980's and the rapid pace of digital technology, which ironically, they invented.

Back in 1975, using an electronic sensor invented six years before, an engineer named Steven Sasson who was one of the company's engineers, created the first digital camera. It was the size of a toaster and was 1 megapixel.

Although Kodak spent billions developing the photo technology inside most of the cellphones we use today, they were reluctant to give up their own reliance on film. I think they had invested so much money into it, that it was hard to risk it all. Their rivals like Canon took the opportunity to get a hold on the digital era.

I tried as long as I could, Kodak. I held on to my two film cameras for a long time even though I had a Canon DSLR. I edited our high school yearbook with some of those images I captured on film. I still have the proof sheets of those days. I even have two Kodak digital cameras and a digital frame as well. I keep the little pocket camera in my purse for its ease of use when I don't want to miss something in my daily travels. But little ol' me had to change with the times too. I wish you could have also. All the best ~a long time fan.

Patched and painting progress

Monday, February 6, 2012

I get easily sucked into the vortex that is a home improvement store. I love them. I love going through the lighting aisle and then the tile aisle (rhymes) and then the paint and tools. I'm convinced a pneumatic nail gun would complete my life. I think I have enough paint chips where if you ever needed color advice, I could just whip them out like the pros. My kids always pick up the Mickey mouse paint chips. I'm this close (fingers measuring a half-inch) to using them as Valentines.

We're still working on the basement bathroom but we're nearing completion. I got an inside scoop on some rubber-backed flooring at HD so I had to check it out. It's "DIY friendly" which means no gluing. Just the thought of that alone makes me want to break into a Liza Minnelli song. I don't know any but I picture her singing big and booming and all Broadway-like. That will be me when we cut the flooring to fit and install. If we ever have another Hurricane Irene or Lee or whatever it would be named next time, all we do is pick up the floor and dry it out. That is friendly material.

All those color swatches I mentioned didn't work on me this time. We went for your basic white. That's some out of the box thinking there, I know, but it's a small room with no windows so I'm going for high contrast. I can always change it later if it doesn't come together. I don't mind another trip to the home store.

So far:

1. Oops - cut the water line. Tore out wall.

2. Replaced drywall and ripped out light and mirror.

3. Mud, taped and painted new wall.

The other side had the heater torn out, towel bar and other items removed and has been freshly patched and painted. New moulding, shelves and accessories are waiting in the wings...

What's in a name

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

When I was 10 years old, my mom gave me a silver ring that was a band of laurel leaves. She told me that in ancient Greece they awarded the Olympic victors with a crown of Laurel leaves which was the meaning of my name, victory. I always loved how she told me that. I felt extra special that day.

Just last week at the basketball game a lady working the concession stand asked Blair what her name was. After Blair replied, the lady looked at me and said that I must be Charley's mom and commented on what fun names we give our kids. I am asked quite often about how we've come up with our children's names. And just in case you're wondering, here's how their first names came to be...

1. Belén Thérèse: Belén's first name is Belén Thérèse, (like Mary-Kate) only I could never get anyone to say it fully which drove me nuts so I went along and shortened it. It is a Spanish name which, my late mother being Mexican, always wanted to use but never did so I let her name my first baby. (Unless it turned out to be a boy and then we'd have to think of something else.) It means Bethlehem and Thérèse means Harvester. People have not always been shy to tell me that her name is "unusual" but I love it and more importantly, she loves it and likes being the only Belén around and being known by one name.

2. Charley: One of my best friends, Tracy Tyler, gave us the name. Long before I had my 2nd baby, we were talking about names and she said she loved Charley, for a girl. I remember she said it sounded like a fun, crazy girl running all over the house name. So when we were expecting baby #2, I asked her if we could use it if we had a girl. She was so happy and said, "Oh my gosh, yes!!!" It's the diminutive form of Charles meaning free man, or in this case for a girl, free or strong woman/womanly. People always ask if her name is short for anything and she happily says, "No, it's just Charley."

3. Reese: Long before any famous Reese's, (besides the candy) there was Reese Kahler. He was one of Jon's best friends from our highschool. When Jon was the new kid in school and entered in a place with long established friendships starting from Kindergarten, Reese handed Jon an invitation to his 14th birthday party. There he introduced him to all his friends and they all went on to be best friends. Reese became a Kindergarten teacher and died suddenly in 1999. His whole class was at the funeral with drawings in hand of their beloved teacher. Jon gave the most beautiful eulogy. And 20 years later, those friends still get together for a weekend of golf, fishing and all sorts of male bonding. The name Reese means Running. When we go to the Hershey factory tour, he's been known to score extra candy because of his name.

4. Blair: I have always loved the name Blair and wanted to name a girl after my dad and oldest brother. When the baby was being born and the Dr. said, "We have a girl!" I knew I had my chance. Jon loved it too and so little Blair it was. Her name means Field. I love to hear her name because it always reminds me of home. I want to take photographs of her in a beautiful field this summer.

5. Trae: I knew I wanted to stay true to the less-common, being known by one name, name but I was stumped. I had a girl's name chosen but no boy. We thought of using another family name but it wasn't working. Then one day I was going through a vintage French dictionary and ran across the word, Trae, which means three. I liked it. So I ran it by Jon and we both agreed if we had a boy, which would be the third boy in the family, his name would be Trae. He is now known by Trae-man and often introduces himself as such.

And there you go - more than you ever wanted to know about my kids' names!

How about you? How did you/do you decide on names?