Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Just so you know, we have been very busy on the house, so I have not had time to update.  We have been taking pictures, which I will share with you later.

Painting and tiling are going on this week.  Next week, the hardwood floors are being redone. 

My mom, mother-in-law and father-in-law are pretty much the most amazing helpers I have ever met.  I am so thankful for them.

Will show pictures later.  It's looking amazing, if I do say so myself!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

In Case You Didn't Know (Part 2)

Did you know that it really hurts if you hit yourself in the chin with the sharp end of a pry bar?  Did you know that it bleeds? A lot?  Did you also know that when you hit yourself on the chin it makes you dizzy and feel like you're going to pass out?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Renovation: Part 2 (Subtitled: In Case You Didn't Know)

Did you know that pulling up carpet is probably one of the most exhausting things ever?

Did you know that it really hurts when you slam your finger between the floor and the pry bar you're using to get a nail out of the floor?

Did you that dog and cat pee stay in carpet pads forever?  And did you also know that when the pads get wet, they mold and create black, moldy spots on the hardwood beneath?

Did you know that there are about 10,000 staples used when putting down carpet that have to be pulled up using needle-nose pliers?

Did you know that your hands get all red, burned-looking, and very painful when you don't wear gloves while using a pry bar and needle-nose pliers?

I'm not complaining.  I'm just explaining for those of you who didn't know all those things. :)

We are not done pulling up the carpet, but will be tonight so I will post pictures in the next couple days.

Also, we FINALLY found the tile for our kitchen.  $1.10 a square foot!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Renovation: Part 1

So, we're homeowners.  It's very exciting, but I have to be honest when I say that the actual "closing" is not as interesting as I thought it would be.  Maybe because I always romanticize things in my head (blame it on Jane Austen), I was a little disappointed when the guy who mediated the closing was extremely rude and then when we were done signing, they didn't even throw us a party or anything!! (Okay, I'm being a little overly dramatic on that last part.)  It just seemed a little anti-climactic.  I'm just being honest, remember?

But, any way you slice it, we are now homeowners!!  We could NOT be any more in love with our cute little house and the potential that it has.  So, last night, about 10 of us got together and did some work on the house.  I do not know what I would do without those friends and family members.  I mean, really.  They are amazing.

Step 1:  Sanding!  Because of aforementioned friends, we completed all the sanding last night. And I'm not just talking about having to sand one wall or something.  Every.single.thing. in the kitchen had to be sanded.  And all the trim in the hallway.  And all the trim in one of the bedrooms (the other two have been painted already, go figure).  There was lots to be done. 

Here are a couple pictures for your enjoyment.  This is early on in the sanding process, but you get the general idea.

Robert, my father-in-law,  my amazing husband, and my brother, Collin, all working the power sanders.

Me doing who knows what and Christy working so hard.  She definitely always wins the "happy helper" award in my book. **Sidenote:  no, I'm not pregnant, I just didn't have my shirt pulled down.  I was working hard, remember?**

Coming soon - Part 2: Etching and Priming. Or pulling up nasty carpet. (I'm not sure which we will do tonight, but I will keep you posted, I promise!)

Monday, April 4, 2011


I become a homeowner.

I am throwing a "sanding party" for our friends.  Which really means that our friends are coming over and sanding for us.  It's not really a party for our friends seeing as how it's really for us.

I am starting to take pictures of all the changes we are making.

I am thinking about how wonderful my community is. 

I am wishing that today's weather was as nice as it was yesterday.

I am missing one little girl more than anything.  Sweet Bella girl, you made the world a little less joyful when you left.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Wait is Over!!

Okay.  I know I have been a horrible blogger recently.  I apologize.  Really.  I'm ready to start anew.

Now for the big news!  JD and I are now the owners (at least we will be on April 4th) of our very own atomic ranch!!!!!  We are so in love with our new home, you all have no idea!  But, our adorable place needs some major work (I mean there is awful wood paneling with about 50 layers of shellac all over the kitchen,  and  nasty dog-smelling carpet everywhere.).  All the work just means that we get to make the place our own.  So, we have spent the past week (after we found out for sure that we were getting the house) picking out paint colors, tile, granite, and appliances.  It's a bit overwhelming, but so exciting at the same time!

Coming VERY soon are some "before" pictures.  The only ones I have right now are of poor quality of the inside only.  I will give you one sneak peek, though, of the living room, just because I am so in love with our new fireplace. 

Isn't it so amazing?  Now, imagine it without that awful picture hanging on it, the carpet taken up (there's beautiful hardwood underneath), a bright, fun green on the walls, and the trim painted white.  Add our gray, green, and yellow furniture and beautiful drapes made by my mother-in-law, and voila! you have our new living room.

So, I plan to be updating this blog regularly with our progress on the house as well as the raised garden we're going to be doing in the back yard AND recipes in my brand-new, perfect-in-my-eyes kitchen (eventually, you know, once it is complete).

We're so excited. I hope you stay tuned to read about all our work on our atomic ranch.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Spring is almost here...

Things are just happier when spring is peeking its little head around the corner...

It just seems like everything is going to be alright. 

Then something awful happens like an earthquake in Japan, and I start to question again...

Stay tuned for some big news (with pictures)...I just can't post today.  Too much on my mind.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I don't know much.

I don't know what's going to happen today or tomorrow or the day after that. 

I don't know if we'll ever have kids or if we'll have a ton of them or if we'll be somewhere in between.

I don't know where we'll live in 10 years or what we'll be doing.

But, I do know that when I'm old and gray I want to be like this.

Monday, February 14, 2011

9, Part 2

9 years ago today I received my first kiss from the boy that I will spend the rest of my life kissing.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


23 years ago today, my baby brother was born.  The first memory I have is of him screaming as soon as Mom put him in my arms.  And let's just be honest, he was a pain from that moment on. :)  Until we hit college.   Then something changed.

People have said to me over and over again how crazy it is that we're so different (i.e. he rock climbs, is all outdoorsy, likes sports, ect.) yet so similar in our thoughts and personalities.  I think that this is because of two things:  1) We both got the best characteristics of our parents (in some ways I'm just like my mom and he's just like my dad and vice versa); and 2)  We're friends.

How many people can honestly say that they're best friends with their sibling?  I mean, like, hang-out-quite-a-few-times-a-week, tell-each-other-things, journey-through-life-together, and get-advice-from type of best friend?

C, here's to you.  I don't know if you ever read this, and I don't care.  I just want you to know how much I appreciate you:  your honesty, your love of life, your wisdom, your sense of humor, your friendship.  I love you little brother!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Nine years ago today I was 16 years old and had just gotten my driver's license (quite literally the day before).  It was a Friday and I was about to go on my very first date.


I planned it so that my dad was out of town so he couldn't drill the boy that I was so crazy about.  I had gone shopping with my mom for a new outfit.  I have to say the blue polo, khakis and jean jacket was not my best fashion choice! Ha!

He picked me up in his green Taurus.  He was so darn cute I couldn't stop looking at him.  We went to Shogun, Java House (where I made him try "real" coffee for the first time), for a drive, then to see I Am Sam which we had to leave early so he could get me home in time for my curfew.  We held hands in the theater for the very first time.  When he dropped me off at home, he kissed me on my hand.

I was young.  Very young.  He was young even though I thought he was so old because he was in college.  I was nervous.  I'm sure he was, too.  But that night, I knew he was special. 

Today, I will go home after I get off work and kiss my husband of almost four years, the love of my life for the past nine years. 

P.S.  I was not killed by the Couchsurfers.  They were amazing.  You can read all about it here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


No, not literally surfing.  Where would I do that? (In case you failed Geography, Kentucky is a land-locked state.  But that's neither here nor there...)

I'm talking about Couch Surfing.

What's that, you ask?  Well, it starts with this very nifty website where you can sign up and open your couch (or guest bedroom, in our case) for people to sleep on that are traveling through your town.  Yep.  Strangers. 

GASP!  You mean, you let people you don't know come and sleep in your house?  Aren't you afraid they're going to kill you, steal from you, take your dogs, burn down your house, etc.?  Nope.  Everyone has to be vouched for and has to register with the website.  I'm pretty sure that if there were a serial killer couchsurfing then they would be discovered pretty quickly.  Plus, most of the people that are a part of the couchsurfing community are laid-back hippies and do not really fit the typical serial killer stereotype. :)  And, sorry for my serial killer talk, I have been addicted to Dexter lately, but that's another post for another time.

Oh, and did I mention that it works both ways?  We can also go and couch surf at others' places.  I'm trying to get JD to go on a long weekend road trip where we couch surf.  We just haven't gotten to that yet.

We HAVE, however, hosted TONS of really cool people:  a reporter for the Atlantic who was driving cross-country writing about the recession and how it was affecting the people she met along the way, two guys who were biking across the country, a lady who was biking solo across the country (See a pattern here?  We get a lot of cross-country travelers because of being so close to a major highway.), and a couple from Romania.  That's just in the last year or so.  We've gotten a lot more requests, but because of scheduling conflicts could not make it work.

However, I do not think I've been more excited about a couchsurfing experience than I am about the one we're going to have tonight.  These people are our (for a lack of a better word) soulmates. They live completely off-the-grid, in a tiny house (less than 500 square feet), travel the country with their dog, love Jesus, homebrew, and are from Canada.  They even spent a year sailing the Caribbean in a handmade boat!!  I mean, really!  How amazing do they sound?  Maybe spending time with them can give us to push towards actually building a container house like we have wanted to do for a couple years.

They're coming this afternoon and are cooking us dinner and then we're just hanging out with them tonight.  And I could not be more excited! 

I'll post more about the experience in the next few days.  But, in the meantime, maybe all of my blog readers will consider couchsurfing themselves. (Hint, hint.)  It really is such a worthwhile experience!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day at Work Through the Hipstamatic Lens

Have I mentioned that I LOVE the Hipstamatic app on my phone?  Cause I do!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Things I Don't Want to Write About:

  • How incredibly unfair life is.
  • How every time I think about the above statement, my stomach turns, I start to cry, and then I get very angry.
  • How I do not want to say goodbye.
  • How we didn't get to buy the house we fell in love with (not associated with the three statements above).
  • How we are supposed to get snow again.
  • How it's still cold outside.
  • How tired I am.
Nope.  I don't want to write or talk about any of those things.

Anyone that wants to give me any ideas on things to write about, I am more than willing to take suggestions.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A List...

Of 10 things I loved about 2010...

1)   Getting a new job where I get to do something I absolutely LOVE.

2)   Spending more time with my Ekklesia community.

3)   Gardening for the first time.

4)   Believing, doubting and learning (yes, all of them) the Way of Jesus.

5)   Becoming an aunt to the most beautiful little baby girl ever.

6)   Traveling to Apalachicola, Florida (with my husband), Lake Erie (with my family), Gatlinburg (with JD's family), and Chicago (with my sisters and mother-in-law).

7)   Being able to spend lots of quality time with one Rory Isabella Shoemaker and getting to see her walk and talk up a storm.

8)   Going to the Mumford and Sons concert.

9)   Watching my brother graduate college.

10) Falling more in love with my husband every day.

There were so many wonderful things about 2010, it's hard to list just 10.  Here's to hoping that 2011 will be even better (I mean, Italy is coming up soon, so that's pretty cool, right?)!!