Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Birthday Surprises

I was out of town for much of the past weekend, which also happened to be the weekend before my birthday. This conveniently gave Justin the opportunity to not only go shopping for me, but to also produce some very large gifts in the house without my knowledge.

Present #1: 30 more feet of framing in the basement. And I didn't have to lift a finger! He completely framed the southern most walls that will house the ping-pong room, craft room and bathroom. While I was gallivanting around Colorado, he was sweating in the sawdust-ridden basement.

Present #2: A deep freezer! For those of you without a deep freezer let me just say this: it is a magical thing. As a kid, we had a super-size deep freezer in the basement. It was always filled with vegetables, pizzas, Popsicles and ice cream. Special sale at the grocery store on Breyers ice cream? No problem! Go ahead and buy five cartons- I now have somewhere to put them. Going to Sam's? Great! Let's stock up on frozen chicken!

Present #3: (Not quite as large as the others, but equally fantastic) A new digital camera! Not only is this camera far superior to my old 4.1 mega pixel Sony from 2005, it also has the capability to take HD video! We are going to have so many home movies of Kevin it's not even funny.

Present #4: Ice cream cake! This is where that deep freezer would have come in handy. (It's still in the box until the basement is done.) I do love me some ice cream cake. Especially on exponentially hot days like yesterday when the heat index is 110 degrees.

That husband of mine absolutely spoils me. And I love him all the more for it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

One Limb Short

I admit it. I'm usually not a girlie girl. I rarely wear make-up, and I'd rather spend my mornings eating breakfast than doing my hair. (After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day!) Over the past couple of weeks, I got an itch to change my look. I hadn't gotten a real hair cut (Great Clips doesn't count) since I did Locks of Love in April 2008. I was due.

While I wanted a new look and wanted it to be drastic enough for people to notice, I was reluctant to significantly cut my hair or dye it. These being the most obvious of possible changes, I was left with only one option: find a new way to style my hair. The problem? I am a wash-and-go kind of girl. I wake up before 5:30 every morning to be ready for work. To implement a new hair routine in the morning would cut down on my sleep.

Oh, the things we women will do to look good...

Sonja, my stylist, made me look awesome, plus she made it look easy to do. "See? It only took me an extra 15 minutes to blow dry your hair!" Yes, but how long is it going to take me to do the same thing? She said I would get the hang of it. It just took some practice. The first time I tried to replicate the bouncing, flowing curls, it took me an extra 45 minutes to get ready for work. The second time took me even longer. I don't think I'm very coordinated. To hold the blow dryer in one hand and the brush in the other and have them move together at the same angle at the same time- it's exhausting! I bet having a third arm would help out tremendously in this situation. Instead of putting down the blow dryer every time I got the brush stuck in my hair, I could just untangle it and proceed as usual. I could also use my third arm to hold up a mirror behind me so that I could see the spots I missed. It would be so handy! (literally) But alas, I only have two arms, so it looks like I'm just going to have to get the hang of it the old fashioned way: practice.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

30 Feet of Wall

After completing the kitchen renovation last fall and seeing the transformation from 1980's to the 21st century, we got it into our heads to finish the basement. Currently, our basement is 1500 square feet of concrete. Mainly used as storage, the basement also houses my crafting area, workout area and a workbench for Justin. Because we didn't want the cost of an architect or contractor, the first step in finishing the basement was putting together a floor plan. (And after doing the kitchen by ourselves, we felt pretty confident in our remodeling capabilities.) Justin even put together a blog dedicated to tracking the basement progress. His blog hasn't been recently updated, so here's the latest news.

Wood has been delivered.
Nail gun has been purchased.
Thirty feet of framing has been erected along the longest wall.

Last night, we (meaning Justin) moved cables that were hanging down from the ceiling. Because we're planning to do a drywall ceiling on half of the basement, we need to make sure cable wiring won't get in the way.

The neatest part of the renovation is seeing it come together. Knowing that we are doing the hard work gives such a feeling of accomplishment. Obstacles are overcome. Problems are solved. And being our own contractors allow us to make changes as we go. Move a closet from one wall to another? No problem! A wet bar at the last minute? Sure!

We heard horror stories from family and friends about the duration of finishing a basement without contractors. Five years. Ten years. However, we have high hopes to get it done by Halloween, so we can hold another terrifyingly awesome party. That gives us five months to get everything done. Think we can do it? Stay tuned and find out!