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Archive for December, 2011

I hope ya’ll are having a wonderful Christmas morning!! I am definitely enjoying mine in Hawaii (I assume because it is highly unlikely that I wouldn’t enjoy a two-week cruise to a nice tropical place).

Since the holiday season is all about love, miracles, & family/friends, I’m going to share some of our family pictures we took over Thanksgiving.

Ben joined in on the pictures. He is, after all, a part of the family now.

Merry Christmas!!!

 

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Hey everybody! I hope ya’ll are enjoying your wonderful winter breaks wherever you might be. Me? I’m still in Hawaii. Today was supposed to be spent on the island of Nawiliwili, but things happen. Woke up at 6 AM. Woke JaJa up at 7:10 AM. Went to breakfast at 7:30 AM & prepared to leave the boat at 8 AM. Then we got a call over the intercom telling us that due to high winds, we weren’t allowed to enter the port (it’s too dangerous). The winds are only going to increase during the day so if we did make it into port, we might not be able to make it out. That would mean that we would be stuck in port overnight & miss Maui tomorrow on Christmas Day. The Captain made a decision to skip this port in order to assure that we would be in Maui tomorrow. Instead we are going to take a scenic “drive” around the island.

We — me & JaJa — didn’t mind getting a break. I can’t speak for my Dad though, who gets pretty bad cabin fever. JaJa went back to sleep while I went to see if my dad’s Verizon Mobile Broadband would get signal. It does!! So now, I don’t mind being stuck in the boat all day, because I’ve got free internet!!!

So I write this post while looking out at this beautiful view.

I’ll go outside in a little bit to take some better pictures.

Life couldn’t get much better than this…unless Ben was here. Then my life would be complete.

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December 19th, 2011

Because I have learned how to schedule posts (thanks inadvertently to my boss Christi), ya’ll are reading this while I am sipping down daiquiris & margaritas on a boat sailing for the islands of Hawaii. Right now Ben is enjoying his first time out of the country. He’s in Thailand spending Christmas with his parents. We are on opposite sides of the world this Christmas, & it makes me a little sad.

But this is not going to turn into a pity post (lol. cool pun). I’m happy to be able to spend what is probably going to be my last family trip as a semi-single woman. This goes the same for Ben. I’m just lucky to be able to enjoy such a wonderful relaxing trip with my family. And it’s still so unreal to think that there is only FIVE MONTHS until Ben & I get married!! I find that crazy, & I know you guys are thinking the exact same thing. But it’s true. I checked the calendar. I hope all of you guys are ready for the craziness that will ensue the day I get back from Hawaii. All of the planning & DIY projects stirring in my head will be made reality, & I will be calling on your help (you people know who you are).

To my love:

I hope you are having an amazing trip & listening to all of my advice. No drinking the local water. No staying out in the sun without protection. No visiting brothels. Find a Thai wife for Dan & maybe Jon…actually, find Josh one first.

I love you!

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We left about 6 AM this morning, & I’m super duper excited!! Well, why wouldn’t I be?! I love cruises, & this will be our first two-week cruise. We moved up from all of those 7-day cruises. We fly out to Los Angeles, then take a 30 minute taxi ride to the big Princess cruise ship. According to my extremely accurate parents, the boat sails between 2-4 PM. We’ll be there early enough to not worry about missing the boat like my parents & JaJa did on their way to Alaska three summers ago.

Keep us in your prayers. Also, keep Ben in your prayers as well. By now, he should definitely have arrived in Thailand & having a fabulous time enjoying his first ever trip out of the country. I hope all of ya’ll are home safely (or wherever you are going to be) for the holidays. Relax & enjoy all the time that you have with your family & friends!!

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The other day I downloaded Tap Tap onto the iPad, & this was one of the free tracks I was given. I fell in love with it immediately. Not the message, but the song is just too catchy not to get it stuck in my head. & that is where it has been ever since. So because I can’t stop singing this song, I figured I would get it stuck in some other people’s heads too. Enjoy!!

 

 

P.S. NAILED the song on Tap Tap, if anybody is interested.

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On Sunday, it was time to get down to business & finish the one room in the house we have been working on since July of this year: the dining room!!

Remember when it was all about the chair molding back in August of this year? Then it was all about the oh so tacky wallpaper? Then we worked on the spackling numerous times throughout the following months — like here? After that, we worked on the sanding. Finally we got around to priming the walls, which has led us to this point in the long-winded story of home renovations.

Today, I am proud to announce that we have finished painting the room!!!!

Here is the paint that we had picked out a long time ago. I bought a sample of it & immediately loved the way it looked. Shortly after, I bought the gallon of paint that we needed to complete the room.

I wanted matte paint as opposed to glossy, because matte would be a little more forgiving. Even after the drywall & sanding, there was still a lot of imperfections on the wall. I didn’t want the paint to enhance those flaws but rather hide them. Matte is made to do that.

The paint looks kind of light in the picture, but it’s not like that in reality.

Ben started painting the W’s while I worked on the edges.

It didn’t take him long to cover up the wall, but I would have to go back & fill in all of the little cracks & spots of white poking through the paint that Ben seemed to swear weren’t really there.

While Ben did the harder job (in order to work on building more muscles), I tested out my new tool:

It helps give an even line where the wall meets the trim without having to use painter’s tape. I was soo excited to give this a whirl, & what do you know…

IT WORKS!!! I was lovin’ it & so was Ben. The cool thing too is that the trimmer (what I have deemed this magical tool to be called) has removeable paint pads. So once the bristles have worn down, you just throw it out, wash the red holder, & put on a new one. The pads are very inexpensive too, which is a huge PLUS!

In no time, we had the majority of the walls covered in paint.

The photos really don’t do the color justice, so one day (after the house is more presentable) ya’ll just have to come over & see it in person.

On one of the walls, I got bored & decided to use the trimmer as a stamp. First, it was only to get off the extra paint lingering on & between the bristles, but then I decided to stamp more of the wall.

After a couple of minutes, I showed it to Ben, joking about leaving it like that — 6 sections of the room fully painted & 1 sponged/stamped — but ultimately going to paint it over after I had my fun. What do ya’ll think? Here’s a close-up:

Ben said that he liked it & wanted to leave the wall like that. It has a very edgy, modern feel to it. It’s all about shapes.

Since I haven’t really decided if I really love it or not, we are going to leave it like this for now. I ended up painting a design around the part where the rectangular stamps meet the painted wall.

If it doesn’t grow on me over my vacation, we’ll paint it over. But I love the idea that we can paint the walls however we want!!

Here is how the room looks after the proper two counts of paint & a round of touch-ups.

We decided not to paint the window & door trims just yet. I want to paint it a different color, but haven’t decided on it just yet. We did however end up painting the baseboard.

After a couple of hours, we were completely finished!!!

Well, finished with the painting. Next thing we needed to do was go pick out some new outlet covers. The ones that were on there were pretty bad. See for yourselves.

They were so bad that we didn’t even card to cover up the entire thing when we painted. You can see that someone had already gone over the outlet with white paint instead of taking them off during the painting process. We just covered up the holes with tape & painted right on over.

This past Tuesday, we stopped by Lowe’s & picked up some nice chrome (or chrome-looking) covers.

We bought a value pack with 6 outlet covers, one light switch cover, & then a dimmer (because this room had a dimmer knob, not just a switch. It’s more eco-friendly. Whoop! Whoop!).

We tested out this chrome cover on the dimmer first, to make sure we really liked the look before we went & recovered all of the outlets. I forgot to take a before picture, but here’s the after:

Sorry the pictures are somewhat blurry. Using the flash wouldn’t have made the pictures turn out any better. So you’ll just have to take me on my word: the chrome look totally works with the new wall color!! (Just like I knew it would. lol.)

It didn’t take us long at all to remove the rest of the outlet covers, touch-up the paint around it, & replace them with our newest home purchases.

Of course, I didn’t realize that the outlet cover & outlets themselves were two separate entities. Silly me. So this is how the outlets look:

(sorry for the blurriness)

Although I’m bummed that it’s not completely chrome, I think I can deal with this. How many people really analyze the outlets when they come over to somebody’s house? As long as they function, I’m happy. Also, the fact that each outlet costs about $5-$7 a pop deterred me from heading back to Lowe’s to buy them.

I’m just soooooooo happy that this room is complete, & it couldn’t have happened at a better time since Ben & I will both be gone on vacation the next two weeks!!! Ya’ll do not know how much grief this one room has caused me, but now I can finally put it behind me….well, almost.

In January, we plan on pulling out the carpet & installing a hardwood floor or faux hardwood (whatever is cheaper). After doing that, then painting the trim, buying a new dining room table, & refurbishing the dining room chairs (DIYing those suckers!!), the room will be complete!!!!

But for now, I am satisfied with having the walls painted.

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So not one hour ago, I left Ben at the airport & I don’t think it has fully set in yet. I was quite proud of the fact that I haven’t cried about Ben leaving for Thailand….until today that is. This morning, I heard a song on the way to Ben’s house & I could feel myself getting ready to cry. I forced myself to hold it in. Then when I got to Ben’s house, to make myself not even think about crying, I became very bossy…telling Ben he needed to finish cleaning up the kitchen, do the rest of his laundry, & vacuum his room. These were all valid points, because those needed to get done, but it is no excuse for the way that I treated him. Eventually, even anger was not enough to keep me from crying. Yupp. I totally admit that I bawled like a giant, grownup baby.
I was having a hard time getting use to the fact that I would have to be the one sending Ben off. Usually, it’s been the other way around. I absolutely hate saying goodbye & avoid it at all possible, but today I was just going to have to suck up my discomfort & do it.
Eventually, I stopped crying enough to enjoy my last few hours with Ben before he left the city & then the country.
I was fine when we ate our last meal together. I was fine when we parked at the airport. I was fine while checking in. I was fine when Ben stopped at the security checkpoint to hug me. I was fine when he held on a little longer. But I was definitely NOT fine when he looked me in the eyes. And without him having to say a word, tears started dropping down my cheeks. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to hold it for much longer, so I quickly gave Ben a last goodbye kiss & rushed to put on my sunglasses before heading towards the exit to my car. I didn’t allow myself to look back, because I knew I would start sobbing. Tears are somewhat okay, but sobbing in public is just embarrassing. Thankfully, I made it to the car without too many people seeing me cry.

Right now, I plan on spending the rest of my days packing, blogging, & working. This will help me get my mind off of being more than thousands of miles apart for my fiance. Saturday morning could not get here fast enough!!!

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