Thursday, August 16, 2012

Kitchen - It's Getting Close

The kitchen is coming along! It's still waiting for a few finishing touches (backsplash tile, pantry door, curtains, bench cushion, and chairs--and in these photos we were still waiting for a few drawer fronts), but all the major stuff is done. I must say that I do love it very much. Our cabinet maker, Tim Pollard from Heirloom Cabinetry in St. Charles, IL was amazing. He does incredible work and is so delightful to work with. Thank you Pinterest and Houzz for all the beautiful photos of beautiful kitchens that we could gleen ideas from. It's so fun to see it all coming together.
 Pay no attention to our yucky old barstools. We've got plans to spruce them up so they look a little better.
 Same goes for my old pine chairs that don't match so well anymore. A little paint project is on the docket for them.

 Still wating for the backsplash tile to be delivered. Here's the sample:


The mudroom is the current project we are working on:

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Winding Down Summer at Wrigley Field

Brent came home from work with a few Cubs tickets, so off we went tonight for one last ball game for the summer. It was a beautiful summer night at Wrigley Field and great way to spend a Tuesday evening with the family before weeknights become dominated by homework and kids sports. Next Tuesday night will be our first "School Night" of the year. Yuck!

 Ethan, our Sox fan, broke down and bought a Cubs t-shirt after the game was over. It remains to be seen if he'll actually wear it.

The final score was sad--but the Cubs aren't having a great season, so we weren't expecting a win anyway.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

I Love to Braid

It's true, I really love to braid hair. Especially when I can do something fun and different. About seven years ago our family was waiting (and waiting) for a Memorial Day parade to start. To pass the time I played with Morgan's hair as she sat on the curb. That day we invented the spiral braid. Since then the spiral braid has made me very popular at girls camps. And I'm happy to oblidge all the girls who'll let me practice on them. Today I'm chaperoning Morgan's team to gymnastics training camp in Kalamazoo, MI. Lucky for me the girls were excited to have matching spiral braids. It took about 90 min to braid all six girls. Well worth it for all the oohs and awwws they got from other girls (and strangers) today.

(Props to Sheree, Rebekah and Rachel, my three little sisters who allowed me to hone my braiding skills on their heads)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Make It or Break It

Today as I cleaned-up heaps of papers scattered around the office I discovered a folder with Morgan's name on it. Inside was a whole year's worth of writing assignments that she never bothered to share with her parents (probably because she knew her mom would embarrass her by gushing and even shedding a little tear). Growing up my my mom always told my siblings and I that the best present we could ever give her was the gift of our writing. I couldn't agree more. This folder was indeed a gift. Here is my favorite (coincidentally well-timed with the Women's Olympic gymnastics competition coming up tonight):

Make It or Break It
By Morgan 4/25/2012 (7th Grade)

I stand and wait as I hear familiar voices
Shouting my name.
I look at the four-inch beam
Wondering ho I have the courage each day
To trust my arms to support the weight of my body,
And trusting my hands to find the beam,
After flying four feet in the air.
I wipe my sweaty palms on my thighs,
Impatiently waiting for the dreaded salute.
I breathe deeply and close my eyes slowly,
Trying to calm myself down.
Quickly, I say a prayer in my head
Asking for confidence and strength.

The judges organize their notes,
Take a deep breath,
Smile at me,
Then one of them raises her hand in the air.
"Morgan?" she calls out.
I shoot her a fake smile
And salute.
I let my mind relax,
And let my body do what it does most:

I begin with the mount.
Heart racing,
Palms sweating,
Muscles shaking.
Switch leap to a straddle jump-
Toe turn-
Here comes the flight.
Back-handspring, back-handspring-
Connected, though a slight wobble at the end.
Split jump to a three quarter jump-
Stuck it.
My round-off to layout dismount
Is what stands between success and me.
I take in a whiff of cool air
And begin my run.
I hurdle,
Lay my hands on the beam,
And hope my feet don't slip off.
Clearly, my feet made it on because now I am off the beam
And flying in the air.
I prepare for the squishy landing.
My feet find the ground and stay there.
I stuck it.
I smile to myself,
For I know that I did a great routine.
I lift my chest and give the judges a real smile and salute.
They smile back at me,
And quickly consult with each other to find the right score to describe my routine.
I walk back to my team with a huge grin on my face.
I give my coaches and teammates big hugs
As they tell me how well I did.
I sit down and patiently wait for my score-
Though I don't care because in my mind I already got a 10.0