February 1, 2016

Run, Ranger, Run

I've got a lot of running goals this year and this month. In two weeks I'll run my third marathon. I'm anxious and hopeful and terrified. So that should be interesting. In addition to marathon training I've set out to run a combined total of 2,016 miles in 2016 with my three best buds from high school. It's a very doable goal as we each will run an average of 42 miles each month. Yesterday I ran 10 miles putting my January total at 101 miles which is more than normal because of the marathon training, but at least gives me a good amount of miles banked for our 2,016 total.

This month I am also running with a group of Ranger wives as part of the "Run, Ranger, Run" program. This was created in 2013 when a veteran from 3rd Ranger Battalion wanted to raise awareness about the difficult transition many veterans face when leaving the military. He ran home from Columbus, GA (Fort Benning) to Indianapolis, IN - a 565 mile journey that now teams take on to help continue what he started. There are ten of us on a team, each will run/bike/walk 56.5 miles this month and raise funds for Gallant Few which is a charity organization that aims to reduce the underemployment and homelessness of Veterans, Rangers specifically. My fundraising page is here if you are able to donate - any support is so greatly appreciate.



In the theme of soliciting my dear friends and family for a good cause, I'll be participating in the Run Across Georgia this year as I did last year. I've been running a lot the last couple years, but still wouldn't consider myself "a runner." I don't always like running, more so that I like what running provides me; confidence, friendship, a challenge, etc. And since it's not always the most enjoyable activity I'd much rather have some extrinsic motivation such as a worthy charity or cause. If I run with my phone I have gotten in the habit of using the app "Charity Miles" which allows you to pick a different charity each time you run and a big name corporation will donate money to that charity based on how far you run/walk. It's not a ton of money, but every little bit helps. My favorite charities to support through Charity Miles are the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Shot @ Life which provide vaccines to children worldwide, and St. Judes, but there are so many other awesome ones listed in the app. 

Again, here is the link to my fundraising page - as always, the support, the encouragement, and the donations really mean so much to me and I appreciate how well my friends and family tolerate the continual solicitations :)
................................................................................................

January 24, 2016

Kitchen Upgrades: Backsplash and Table

Continuing the "New Year, Old Projects" post, I'm long overdue in sharing pictures of our kitchen. There were no major upgrades done, but sometimes the smaller ones still make a big difference. 

Here are the before pictures of our kitchen when we first moved in:


When we bought the house we were told there would NOT be a fridge included, it even said so in the contract. But they decided to leave theirs which we didn't discover until after we had purchased a new fridge. We decided to keep the new one since it was stainless steal and matched the rest of the appliances and sell the old one on Craigslist which sold in less than 30 minutes! The unsightly curtains came down promptly, and the peachy beige paint was covered by the same grey that goes through the majority of the house (as seen in the playroom).

For the backsplash, we jumped on board the subway tile bandwagon and I'm so glad we did. Miles did all the backsplash himself. I literally cannot think of a single part of it I helped with - maybe taking off the outlet covers? I also picked out the tile and grout color so there's that.

Obligatory 'during' pic:


And the after/comparison pictures:
Oh hey cute baby. Goes to show how long ago this project was done - MA was 14 months here and not yet walking.



After the backsplash was done, the next project Miles took on was to build a new kitchen table. Our old one worked, but sustained a large crack down the underside during our last move and we knew wouldn't survive another move. I picked a farmhouse style table from Ana White's website and even though I'm sure I took a bunch of pictures of the construction process, I can't seem to find any. But Miles did a great job building it as well as a bench for one side. 


Once he was done I stained it, sealed it, and began the search for chairs. I posted this to instagram and got some pretty helpful feedback:


Sadly, Miles vetoed this style. And they only had two, but I still swoon over these.
I really wanted fabric chairs on the end, but with little kids and a slobbery dog, I knew that probably was a recipe for disaster. I loved option C, and was even tempted to go with a mustard yellow color, but read several reviews of paint chipping. In the end I got the best deal on the metal chairs and they do make the most sense at this stage in life. With a couple of coupons and deals they came out to only $32 a chair and I do love how easily they wipe down.

Picture taken back when Mary would sit in the highchair. Big girl has to sit at the table now with Brabur.


Almost caught up on project sharing; hardwood floors are next. Other than some gardening, we probably won't do many other projects while in this house.
................................................................................................

January 17, 2016

Finn Quotes; or, His Obsession with Taylor Swift

(these are a collection of quotes I've written down over the last six months or so)


"Mom, because I'm a little sad, I might have to snuggle with you really bad"

...

Listening to radio in the car and "Bad Blood" comes on

"This is my girl Taylor Swift"

...

laughing. . .

"There's something tickling my penis!"
Me: "What is tickling your penis!?"
"It's just a string" (sure enough, he pulled out a loose string from his underwear)

...

Visiting with family back in September. Aunt Jenny was wearing a cute strapless top

"Why is Aunt Jenny kinda naked? She's wearing a dress like Taylor Swift"

...

Me: "You're getting tall. When did that happen!?"
Finn: "When I ate all my dinner!"

...

At the pumpkin patch - Miles was deployed at the time.

"Can we get the biggest pumpkin in the world?"
Me: "That would be pretty heavy!"
"Yeah, we would need to have a superhero come get it for us! We could call one. Or maybe we could call daddy to get it for us!"

...

Driving in the car

"Tell me if you see fast people and I will open my door and say, 'slow down fast people!'"

...

"Mommy, does Mary still need to see Ms Vanne?" (Mary's speech therapist)
Me: "no, buddy she is all done. Ms Vanne was helping her learn some of her words and Mary's talking so well now that Ms Vanne doesn't need to come anymore"
"But she doesn't know Spanish. Can Ms Vanne come teach her Spanish?"

...

Whining and not going to get his shoes which are by the stairs

"But I can't!"
Me: "You can't walk five feet!?"
"I can't walk five feet, I only have two feet!"

...

Radio on in car and we are listening to "Wildest Dreams" by Finn's girl and there's a part she sings, "say you'll remember me, standing in a nice dress. . ."

"Why is Taylor Swift saying to remember me? I remember her"

Finn Selfie after church the other week. Nailed it!
................................................................................................

January 11, 2016

Microblog Monday: Finn's First Library Card


We went to the library today and I decided to let Finn get his own library card. He's not the greatest about remembering where he puts things or finding things (even when they are in the most obvious places!) so I'm hoping this helps teach him a little responsibility. If he loses the card it costs $2 to replace and I can almost guarantee that will happen and warned him he will need to take money out of his piggy bank if he loses his card. So while I would love for him to actually be responsible, at least there will be some lessons in fiscal responsibility as well if he isn't. He was excited to pick out all his books and on our drive there I told him he wouldn't need me to check out books for him he sweetly asked, "but will you still come with me?" 

Brother carefully looks through and selects which books he wants.
Sister pulls 10 books off the shelf and reminds me why our library trips have been sparse.

Checking out books all by himself.
(And I'm cringing now noticing he was standing on the others!)

Baller.
................................................................................................

January 5, 2016

New Year, Old Projects

I'm very behind documenting and sharing some of the home improvement projects we (and by 'we' I mean Miles) finished last year. We'll start with the faux wainscoting look he created in the playroom. When we moved in to our house we made the formal dining room our play room. Like the rest of the house, the color of the walls was this peachy-beige that we promptly had painted over. We hired someone to paint pretty much the entire house a shade of grey, the only exceptions are the living room and downstairs bathroom which I painted "Sea Salt" by Sherwin Williams, Mary's room which is a similar light aqua color, and the dining room turned play room which I hadn't decided how I wanted to paint so the painters left that room untouched. But shortly after the house was painted I decided I wanted the dining room (play room) to be grey as well, but that I wanted to only paint above the chair rail and below I would paint white and Miles could create a faux wainscoting look. 

Here's a picture of the room when we first moved in:

The beige doesn't look too bad in pictures, but in certain lights was more on the peachy-pink side
I don't really have any pictures after I painted, but behind the naughty dog you can see that the walls were two toned:


And here are some of the "during" pictures when Miles was measuring out the wood he cut and framed for the wall:


It was a fairly simple project and one I'm so thrilled with because I feel like the room looks like it always was this way. You definitely can't tell that Miles is an amateur as the finished product looks very professional, which is good since I'm neurotic and type A. I  think it makes the room fancier which is nice for when we go to sell/rent the house as it may likely be used for it's intended purpose as a formal dining room, but even if it's used as a playroom again it just adds a nice touch.



................................................................................................