Monday, December 28, 2009

We've got blinds!

This may not seem like a big deal, but to us it's HUGE!!

A month after we moved in, we took down the old nasty blinds on the sliding doors in the living room and dinning room to start painting. We gladly threw those away. After we primed and took down the popcorn ceilings, we decided to go and buy the blinds to replace our old ones (2 months later). We went everywhere and thought everyone was sold out of our size, until we finally noticed that there was no place on the shelves for the size we needed. We had no idea our sliding doors weren't a standard size. We had to special order our size and then we waited 3 weeks for them to come in.

It's so nice to finally have privacy again. Now we are trying to decide if we want to get a new front door or put up some kind of window covering to cover the window on the door.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Cupcakes

I am mostly blogging about this so I can remember what I did for future years. I have a cake journal, but this is much easier than writing it out and printing a picture of the cupcakes.

This year James asked me to make cupcakes for his 20 employees. I decided to make the decorations out of fondant so I could have it done ahead of time. This is how they turned out.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Paint Job

It is amazing how much of a difference a few coats of paint can make. It has taken us a while to paint the living room and dining room areas. In that time we changed our mind on the color way too many times to count. We finally agreed on a color palette and went with it.

This is what the living room looked like when we moved in:

This is what it looks like now:

James once again amazed me by coming up with the idea of dark brown accents. We used the dark brown behind the built-in to make it stand out and then brown on the kitchen over hang to tie the two rooms together. We will eventually paint the inside of the front door this same color brown to tie the entry way to the rest of the main area (we are taking a painting break until after the holidays, I insist on having a neat house for a little while before we mess it up again!).

We love the way the fireplaces pops now.

We are working on buying all new decorations for this area. Our first purchase was this rug. We liked the clean look of the tile, but once it started getting colder outside, the tile got colder on our feet. We think this rug really makes it feel homier.

This is the dining room before:

and after:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Family Pictures

James' sister and brother-in-law asked me to take their family pictures for their Christmas cards. As I have mentioned before, I am trying to spend more time on my passions and less time dwelling on our inability to start a family, so I was very excited for this opportunity. I had so much fun with them and I am very thankful that they let me take pictures for them. Here are a few of my favorites out of the MANY we took over 2 sessions.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Christmas Decorations

This year, I was very anxious to bring out the Christmas decorations and decorate our new house. All of October and November, I spent trying to plan out the best place to put the Christmas Tree. I like to have it as the main focal point of the living area, but with the way our house is set up, that wasn't going to work. Then on Thanksgiving it hit me (I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner). We have a living room right next to the front door with a big bay window to the front. We currently use it as our ping pong room. I decided to put the tree right in front of the window. I have always admired "Christmas Windows" and never imagined that I would have one. This is how it looks from the outside (ping pong table and all)

My Sister-in-law and Brother-in-law were at our house for black friday. They decided to do a little shopping. While they were out the picked me up 2 of these beautiful 4ft trees. I put one on each side of the front door.

I went to choir practice on thursday night and came home to my house looking like this:
There wasn't any lights on the house when I left. James and I like to take Echo on walks at night and look at all the Christmas displays. Every time we would pass one James would ask, "Is that what kind of lights you want?" After a lot of indecision, I finally told him that I like all white with clean lines. I didn't think anything of it, but it makes sense now. As soon as I walked out the door, he dashed off to Lowes and picked up some lights and then put them up (along with many other things he did around the house, I have no idea how he accomplished everything in 2 hours). Even though we have lived at our house for 3 months now, I still drive past our house on occasion. As I was coming home thursday, I drove past it twice until I paid more attention and realized that our house was not the dark one in between street lamps this time. Thanks for the awesome surprise babe!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ceiling something new above us

When we were first looking at our house, we noticed that the ceilings were filthy. We were overwhelmed by the idea of scrapping off the popcorn texture. We thought we would just keep it up and paint around it. We started priming the walls and realized that it was going to be difficult to paint the walls and make it look good with the texturing on the ceiling. So we decided to tackle it and re texture the ceilings. James' Dad was very nice to come down and help us (Thanks Dad K!!)

The scrapping part went by very quickly. One person sprayed the ceiling as the other scrapped away.

I ran to Lowe's to pick up a few things that we needed. When I came back 20 minutes later, the majority of the popcorn was gone.

Everyone warned me that it would be a very messy job. I don't think I completely understood what they meant. Even though we put plastic on the floors, I still have this stuff smooched into the floors.

Our house looked like a hazard zone.

The Before and After pictures (you will have to click on it to make it bigger to actually see the difference)

It is amazing how much of a difference this has made to our house. We have just started all the painting. We hope to have the main living area painted and decorated before our family comes for thanksgiving (I don't think that will happen, but we are trying!)

Monday, November 16, 2009

A much needed break

This weekend we took a break from our house and went on a quick trip to visit James' family in Southern California. We were able to spend time with and play with all of our nieces.

Madison and Molly got to ride in our car to Baby Rhyen's birthday party. We had a lot of fun together!
(Molly thought it was so hilarious that her hands were behind her head)

I realized the other day that James and I haven't taken a picture together since our trip to Hawaii a year ago. Now we can wait another year.

This is my favorite picture. James LOVES his nieces!

Happy 1st Birthday Rhyen!

Our main reason for visiting was to go to Rhyen's 1st birthday party. My sister-in-law was so nice to have her baby early so we could also see her while we were there. Yes, the Kraucyk family is cursed with girls (I'm not sure that's such a bad thing!!)

It was a wonderful, relaxing weekend!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This and That

Thanks everyone for your help with identifying the plant in our yard. I compared it with some pictures on the Internet and it does appear to be Elephant Ear. Now I am trying to decide if I should keep it or get rid of it.

I had a few things I wanted to post (since this is what I consider my journal) so I am making one random post with it all......

James brought me home the most beautiful flower arrangement I have ever seen (I think he's trying to make up for forgetting our 7 year anniversary. I think this works, but I won't tell him, I'll let him decide).
We cut down all the rose bushes in our backyard, but James was thoughtful enough to save the roses for me. It was hard to get a picture of them that showed their true color. They are a very bright pink. James knows that if I see something pink I can't help but smile.
Our house is currently a HUGE mess. We started priming the entry way, dining room, kitchen and living room. It is so nice to walk into the mess and see all of these flowers standing out among the paint cans and drop cloths. By the way, if anyone needs/wants extra money, I am willing to pay them to paint and take off the popcorn... I don't want to mess with it anymore.

Echo LOVES our new house. She adjusted very quickly. She gets so excited when we head out to cut the grass because for the first time ever we actually let her roam around the front yard. We finally live on a quiet street so we don't have to worry about her getting hit by a car.

It's that great time of year again (although it makes me sad that we aren't gearing up to head to Hawaii again)... The 2nd movie in the Twilight series is coming out in less than a month. A bunch of ladies from my ward get together and make a shirt that we can all wear together to the midnight showing. This was last years shirt:

and this is what we made for this year:
It's a fun tradition the ladies have started. I enjoy feeling crafty... occasionally.

As some people may know, I have been on the hunt to find my "passion" for the past month. After reading a blog friend's post about this subject (you can read it here M, I hope you don't mind me putting a link to your blog on here) I have pulled out my fancy camera and all my cake decorating supplies again in hope to rekindle that passion (well the photography passion never died, I'm just making it more of a priority). I have also set a few big goals that I feel will help me feel like I have accomplished something in my lifetime.

That's about all I had for this post. We have been very busy doing things inside and outside of our house and I have taken pictures the entire time so watch out for more posts soon.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Can anyone tell me.....

what's growing in my yard??

I thought these were Calla Lilies when they started to come up, but they are way too short to be that. I don't know why it bothers me so much, but if anyone knows what they are please let me know. One of the many adventures of buying a new home is seeing what new things start to grow in the fall and spring.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Our first month as homeowners

This month has flown by. We are still trying to get used to the fact that we actually own this home. We both walk around the house touching things and commenting "we own this". After trying to get a house for so many years, we find it amazing that we finally have one. This house fell on us. We had finally given up and decided to use our down payment money on things that weren't responsible. Then by some miracle the sellers accepted our bid out of 20+ other offers. We decided to keep it a secret until the day we got the keys. We didn't want to lose the house and have to explain to everyone that once again someone else got our home. We are trying to work on making this house feel like our home.

We spend most nights doing something around the house. Before we moved in we had decided that our number one priority was painting, but after spending a lot of time outside we decided that the landscaping was more important. So we are still sleeping in a pink bedroom, but our front yard is free of bushes and trees. Once we finish all the landscaping I will post before and after pictures.

We were very lucky to have a whole month of 100+ degree weather. Normally, I would be complaining about the heat, but now that I have my own pool I am sad that summer is over. I finally understand why my mother-in-law always says she loves the heat (I thought you were crazy.... maybe we both are now). Generally, I swim laps every afternoon for my workout and then before bed we both jump in to cool off. I think for the past month, my hair has been wet longer than dry.

We have a lot of projects we want to tackle. I will try to remember to post before and after pictures of everything so all our family and friends can keep up with us.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Our first big project

When we moved into our new house, we knew the master closet was going to be an issue for us. (I have to apologize ahead of time for some of the pictures. Taking good pictures of closets is close to impossible!)

We were able to fit half of our clothes in there and the way the closet was set up it felt very tight.

James decided that he wanted to tackle the closet first and make it work better for us. He worked so hard pulling out all the built-ins.

I have mentioned many times before that I think James is brilliant! He proved that to me once again. While at OSH, deciding what to do with the closet, James knew we could fit all our clothes on the back wall only. So we bought a neat closet organizer. We decided to paint the closet a bright color so it didn't feel so dark and boring.

And sure enough, all our clothes fit on one wall with plenty of room to spare.

James wanted to make the closet my "sanctuary" so he decided to get me a nice bench (with more storage).

He also got a beautiful Lingerie Chest for all the clothes I had on the top shelf in our old closet.

The finished product is beautiful. I enjoy getting ready in there now and it feels huge!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pictures of our new house

I have been trying to put up pictures of our house for almost a week, but it just never happened. We are all moved into our house and have unpacked the majority of our boxes.

Here is a picture of our house. Unfourtunatly, this is an old picture. Our house was a foreclosure that was vacant for at least a year. With lots of hard work and patience, our yard will look this beautiful again real soon.

The kitchen

The Family Room

The Dining Room (Yes, we will be painting pretty much the whole house)

The hallway to the bedrooms


The Living Room. It will soon be a Pool Table room, until then it is our ping pong table and piano room.

The very purple guest bathroom

The pink Master bedroom (it doesn't look pink, but trust me it is)

The guest room

The workout room

The Laundry Room. I don't think I have ever been this excited to have a laundry room. In our last house, the washer and dryer were in the garage. I hated that!

The backyard

For everyone that is worried.... Yes it is still in Clovis 3rd ward!