Monday, September 29, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Happy anniversary to us. Well, last week anyway. Our timing was impeccable as always. I mean, why wouldn't we install new flooring the week of our anniversary? It left us both so tired that we were both a little edgy on the actual day. On Wednesday night (the night before our anniversary) we were determined to finish and Chloe and Halle were determined to have a breakdown. There was lots of crying and stress with Halle finally going to bed at 1:30am. Five days of "get out of the kitchen" really took it's toll on them. And that night at 11:00 Travis got paged and had to go into work for some sort of big issue. Which left me to finish up. I was grouchy but plowed through and had it very nearly finished by 1am. We finished up about 1:30. Travis was trying to use the nailgun for as many rows as possible and we were down to two rows left when the nail gun pooped out. We were going to have to do most of the last couple rows by hand since the nailgun won't fit so it's just a couple of extra boards. Anyway, we were both tired, Travis wasnt' able to take any time off at all which would have helped. And in hindsight, we wouldn't do a big project like that again without him being able to be here. I get grouchy when the majority of a big project falls to me. Thankfully he did most of the detail stuff...I won't talk about the detail stuff because it's boring but if anyone out there wants to put down hardwood floors yourself, give us a call and we can give you some pointers.

Sooo, with all of the tiredness we weren't able to get things back in order in time. I wanted to but I crashed Friday and spent all of my "getting things in order time" sleeping. Travis encouraged me too because he didn't want me to be tired and grouchy on our actual date. We had big plans and more than one date has been ruined for taking too much on and being tired because of it. But I hadn't gotten anything to wear. I intended to beforehand and ran out of time. We were going to the Melting Pot and I wanted to look nice. I didn't think my normal go-to outfit of jeans and a t-shirt would do- although I did see plenty of people in jeans that night. Plus how often do you get to dress up with your hubby? Thankfully Tisra offered to let me drop the girls off early and I decided to take her up on it. Which enabled me to go find something to wear without the girls asking 1,000 questions while I was trying to think. I ended up at Target at found some super-cute Isaac Mizrahi pants that fit really well-except they were too long. But I decided that in a million years I would probably not find a pair of pants that fit that well and took them. I tried them on with the three inch peep toe heels I was hooked on and they still hit the ground so even though I was pressed for time I knew I'd have to hem them- quickly. Travis had called me an hour earlier and told me that he'd rented a hotel room! In a million years I never expected that but since the house was still seriously trashed it only made sense. It was a really cool hotel too... Dinner was delightful and the room was amazing. And that is what I'll leave you with today- pictures of our uber cool hotel experience. I think this was the best anniversary we've ever had.
This is the floor of the elevator. It's that cool squishy stuff that leaves an imprint when you step on it.And the awesome king size bed. I want one of those. The comfortor was very comfy.The lobby is amazing. There are lots of places to sit and talk- it's very comfy.And the outdoor seating area. We didn't spend much time out here because it was after 11am and we hadn't eaten anything yet (reminds me of our honeymoon) but it was still fun.Here we are in the big white thing from the above picture. Very fun.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Finally the Play by Play

Are you ready to see the before and afters? I know you are, actually I am too. I still have work to do this morning and I've promised Trav that I'll be nearly done by the time he gets home so I better get moving. So here's the funky furniture placement before. Notice that there is about two inches between the chair and the computer desk, so yeah, it's cramped. The solution I have in my head is to put the computer and components on my dresser in the bedroom which will solve a few issues. The first is that I tend to leave a bunch of random junk on the top which is very annoying to Trav and myself (apparently not annoying enough for me to do anything about it though) and I'll also have a way to watch DVD's when I'm working out- nice. We've been a strict 'no TV in the bedroom' couple but since our room also serves as a workout room it doesn't count.
And here's a shot of the lovely kitchen. Notice the broken floor tiles. Thankfully we have a decent walking path through there.
More broken tiles.
Cramped kitchen + power tools= a lot of stress.
But the girls are *really* excited about the new floors!

This is not an obligatory cute Chloe shot. It is, in fact, a shot of Chloe working to help pull up the vinyl tiles on the floor. She worked like a champ and was a lot of help.

Rolling out the roofing felt...Travis is starting the first row. And since you have to do that one by hand, it took a *long* time.And here's the hallway. It's finished except for the, um, finish work that you can see. We need to get reducers and baseboards but it's walkable.And the work that is yet to be done. I think if I work really hard for two or three hours I can get the majority of it done. This has to be done tonight though.

Well, I hope you enjoyed your tour. It will probably be another week and a half before we get the baseboards up unless I can figure out how to do it while Travis is an work. And we have two weeks before Trav's mom and brother come for a visit. I still need to any paint color suggestions? I'm thinking a nice green or a blue-gray.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I'm Kind of Tired

And I would still be nailing down floors but the nail gun is jammed and Travis doesn't seem to be able to fix it. So the 2 day project is turning to a 5 day project and is running scarily close to our 9th anniversary. I have lots of owies and amazingly enough the one that hurts the most is the one I don't remember doing. How do you hurt your thumb and it be so insignificant that you don't feel it and then a couple of days later get a searing pain every time you bump it? Anyway, I know you don't want me to want pictures! And I want to show you pictures, really. But my camera cable is buried along with 100 other cables in my bedroom right now and I'm kind of tired and it looks like a bomb went off in here and since the gun is jammed it looks like I could actually escape and go to sleep.

I started working on it at 8:30 this morning and have worked on it all day with the exception of getting Chloe to and from school, running to Lowe's and picking up pizza. Then an angel from heaven in the form of a guy from our life group came over and worked with us for a couple of hours. I felt useless on the floor front but it gave me a chance to help Chloe with her homework and get her showered. Then our life group leader dropped by with his daughter (who just happens to be a very good friend of Chloe's) just to see the progress. But I was going to sneak off to bed, wasn't I? Well, if you can't wait to see pictures then you can just drop by and see for yourself. I think we're about 2/3 of the way done with the exception of trim work- that will be a weekend in itself I imagine. I'm glad we've done it because I knew we could and working with a nailgun is fun but if you *can* hire someone to do it for you, I totally would.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Internet's been down- phone's down too-floors going down. I know how to use a nailgun. Pictures coming. Open house Tuesday will probably be about my new floors. Yellow paint looks awful with bamboo floors, need a new color. K, bye.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It's Finally Up!

My Etsy shop is finally up! I quit waiting for it to be perfect and just went for it. I also found out that Kinko's will scan an image in color to a USB key so I'll be able to scan the larger works that won't fit in my scanner. Plus my scanner doesn't do a very good job so I'll have to rely on photos as well. I'm a pretty excited but I'll do my best to sleep tonight.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

When Ike Gives You Lemons...

Make a flower bouquet. Yes, stupid Ike knocked down two of my three big sunflower plants. One is completely demolished but I'm trying to salvage the second. I have it tied with a ribbon to 3 skewers and a garden spade and it's propped up with an outdoor chair. It looks totally ghetto though so I'll spare you the after photos. But here's the before:And the flowers I salvaged yesterday. That plant was nearly spent so I'm not too bummed that I lost it but Chloe cried for a while on the way to church. The bouquet is nice and is a good way to end the summer I think. And, yes, I do realize that I have no reason for complaints since it will be weeks before Ike survivors have showers and hot food. No tragedies here...And here's another little something that I finished last night. It's my first "person" painting and was inspired by a picture that I took of the girls at Jim Warren park. There is much room for improvement but I'm happy with the way it turned out. For some reason when I take a picture of this painting, Halle's hair looks orange but it doesn't actually look that way. I had to paint it a little darker because otherwise her head would be transparent and that's just not a good look for anybody. I will not be posting this in my Etsy shop though. For one, it seems like I'd be selling my kids and secondly who besides me is going to want a painting of the backside of my kids? I'm having trouble figuring out the best way to get pics of paintings which is my big holdup on the shop. These watercolors are too big to scan properly and a picture of a painting isn't that fabulous. I do have some smaller paintings like the first sunflowers that I did and possibly "green apple and vase" and another one that will go up in the next couple of days. I'll probably give a print to the grandparents if they'd like one. I'll make sure to let you guys know when stuff is up in the shop.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Open House Tuesday...Kitchen Edition

This is a special edition of Open House Tuesday. We're not going to a specific house, instead we're going to look at just kitchens!!! I was browsing and saw the headliner "Take Your Kitchen to Island Paradise". But apparently I read it wrong and thought it said "take your kitchen to *an* island paradise" and thought I was going to see a bunch of kitchens painted in tropical colors. But instead it is about islands- the kitchen variety. And, wow, I really love islands so it works out perfectly. But wait, there's more! Instead of just putting the pictures of the islands up, I am going to put up the pictures *and* pick one for each of the people that typically reads and comments on my blog. My Mom is an exception because I know she reads but rarely comments, so I'm picking one for her too. And I have a couple of requests...first, after looking at all the pictures please pick *one* and only one kitchen and tell us which one you picked. Second, I'd like for you to pick one for me and then I'll tell you which one I picked in the comments on Thursday. Are you ready? Here we go...

Here's kitchen #1 and I picked this one for....nobody. I thought about picking this one for Tracy because she likes to be different but in thinking about her decor, I decided that her design style is a little more traditional with perhaps a splash of whimsy...but not a kitchen she's going to hate and have to remodel in two years. Plus what's up with that tiny island?

This is kitchen #2 and (except for those hideous chairs) I'm picking this one for my Mom. It's more traditional like she is and has a ginormous island for those huge family get togethers she has. She refuses any bit of help and this kitchen is perfect with enough space for her to dash about like mad, while the rest of the family samples the 82 appetizers she's made- and my Aunts have room to help her when she's not looking.
This is kitchen #3 and I'm picking it for...Christy. I love the big island and think that it's homey and cottagey enough for Christy's big parties. I was definitely on the fence about this one because of the weird looking stone but I think with a different backsplash she'd settle in just fine.Here's kitchen #4 with another big beautiful island and I suspect that my Mom may like this one as well *but* the galley-ish style is making me say no.Here's kitchen #5 and I'm going to pick this one for my M-I-L. She has great taste and it's frilly and girly and she'd have no trouble putting a lot of pink in here. And she'd be able to host a Christmas party for us and her 85 closest relatives- seriously, I think there are that many.

And here's #6 and the one I'm picking for Angie and Julia. I wasn't sure at first but the farmhouse style sink and beautiful windows overlooking the back yard sealed the deal. I think it might possibly be too much- but we're talking about their mansions now, right? I have no trouble picturing their autumn decor fitting right in here. And probably a window treatment that changes with the seasons. Beachy in the summer, pumpkin for fall, red for lends itself to all seasons with architectural interest and the style of days gone by.

This kitchen is #7 and I'm picking this one for Tracy. I love the harlequin pattern on the backsplash and the exposed stainless steel range hood. I think it's a nice mix of traditional and modern and just a little bit different.OK, you know who I'm picking #8 for, right? It's Mary, of course. With clean lines, square and brushed nickel island light, blue glass tile back splash and a suite of stainless steel appliances, this one screams Mary to me. Hmmm, who to pick for #9...who to pick....who to pick? This is a tricky one because I can see Tisra all over it. With simple clean lines, stainless steel minimalism at it's finest, I wonder if she'd actually go for it. I'm going to say no though and pick....#10 for her instead. It still has clean lines but with the warmth of dark stained cabinets and interesting architectural lines. I think with her big family she'd pick a modern but not stark kitchen that is functional for the biggest family dinners, home school experiments and holiday baking. I'm doubtful that the "indulge" thing would stay though.And that's it. Please don't be afraid to say if you hate my pick, I can't imagine I'm batting 1,000 here- batting zero would let me know that I don't know nearly as much about you guys as I thought I did. But no worries because this is a strictly fun thing. And I must confess that I haven't actually picked a kitchen yet. I have a leaning but there are parts to each of them that I really like. That's the trouble with being the artsy type (which most of you are too) we just like too much stuff. I will narrow it down to one by Thursday though and I can't wait to see which ones you guys pick. Happy hunting.

Monday, September 08, 2008


I'm going to postpone Open House Tuesday this week because of a phone call I got this morning from my mother-in-law. She told me that Trav's cousins husband (so technically his cousin also but it gets confusing) was killed in a motorcycle accident. I only met him once, last summer during Flugtag . Danielle (his cousin) called and they worked all week to get us together and finally we settled on having a late breakfast at Cracker Barrell. It was the first (and only) time we would see him. He was a nice guy and in the 3 1/2 years they were married was in Iraq for a while. It's just such a shame and tragedy that I haven't been able to shake it all day. It's time like these that make me want to move back home, so that we can be part of our families lives unlike we are now. But it's a knee jerk reaction and certainly not the wise decision.

I took the girls to the park this afternoon and Travis met us after work. The girls played and then Travis watched them so I could take a walk and clear my head. It's amazing how the death of someone you don't even really know can affect you so much. I think it's probably more about the people that I do know and care about and what they're facing that is weighing so heavily on me. I want to be there and I can't be and even if I was, I don't have a relationship with Danielle. Not more than a 'good to see you, how are you' quick catch up sort of way. Anyway, I just don't feel like looking at houses tonight. I'm sure you understand. But lest this be an incredible bummy sort of post I'll leave you with this.

This is the sign that was posted on my fridge this morning. I guess I forgot to tell you all that we're teaching her Jedi mind tricks.

And the modified sign a few minutes later.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

I'm Finally Jumping In

Ok, I'm finally going to do it. Travis has been encouraging me to open an Etsy shop for quite some time and with a bit of nudging from some other people, I've finally decided to do it. I signed up with a username last night, not realizing that I would be stuck with that name. I picked Amy Button Designs *but* there is also an artist designer named Amy Burton and I saw her stuff in a shop in downtown Franklin but I'm having trouble finding her now so maybe it's not a big deal. I have to say that I'm a little freaked out and when I get this way, it's much easier to just forget about it and keep doing what I'm doing. But an Etsy shop is still somewhat anonymous so it's not like I'm dragging my work to art galleries in hopes of becoming "known". Thankfully it's not a huge investment like real estate or other kooky ventures I've been in on. But I need your input to help me choose a name. Should I stick with Amy Button Designs so that people will know my name or should I go with Lemons and Roses Art to link back to my blog or start over and think of something else? I should probably add that I don't want to limit myself just to art because I'd like to have the freedom to do other things...T-Shirts eventually and I might possibly put up some of the embroidery stuff I've done but I'm not sure about that because the embroidering I do is usually pretty detailed and it takes a *long* time and would probably be prohibitively expensive for a buyer...but you get the idea.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I Never Thought I'd See the Day...

But looky here...
Do you know what it is? No?
Well, how about this? Yes, that's right, we just purchased 10 boxes of bamboo flooring! Isn't it pretty?

I'm pretty excited but it's probably going to be about a week and a half before we're actually able to install them because Trav has to work this weekend. But that's OK because it will give me time to figure out how we're actually going to do it. I did a bunch of research on this particular brand of flooring and found out that it is highly durable and that made me feel better. We got a great deal on it at Costco and it only cost $.05 more than laminate (if anyone reading wants bamboo they have it on sale for $10 off per carton which comes to $1.68 sq.ft. which is really a steal). Of course we still have to rent something to staple or nail or glue it down with but I have a few days to figure it out. And to sand down the kitchen cabinets. After all the talk I did about wanting different color cabinets, when it came time to pick out countertops I quickly came to the realization that I was going to have to hold off on cabinet color until flooring and countertop decisions were made. I actually was completely settled on seafoam (although I did seriously consider the mango color- I thought the room would look like a tropical smoothie) but I also thought that if we sell in the next year, I am not going to want to paint the cabinets again. So there you go. The house progress is coming slowly but surely and I'm very much looking forward to being able to walk in the kitchen without shoes. I'll make sure to post before and afters when we're done.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Open House Tuesday!!!

Yes, it is open house Tuesday, even though I'm getting a late start. Since yesterday was Labor Day, I'm all messed up. I try to have open house Tuesday published on Monday night but I actually forgot about it until last night and spent a few minutes frantically trying to find a house to show you- and then I remembered this one. It is a historic home, as all the homes I've done so far have been, but this one is- let's say quirky. Cute, but quirky. I mean, really, we're all tired of looking at completely perfect homes with granite counter tops and polished wood floors, right? So the home we're looking at today is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1,698 sq. ft. cottage listed at $319,500. It is actually the most reasonably priced home we've looked at to date and the location is great with just a short jaunt to downtown Franklin. Here's a link to the agent's virtual tour so you can see many more photos. Are you ready to go inside?

See, it's cute huh? I think that there's a beautiful window hiding behind that really overgrown bush. Now really, who doesn't know that you're supposed to trim the hedges *before* the realtor takes pictures.

Here's the living room complete with fireplace and orange-ish ceiling. Now, you'll hear no complaints from me because I *love* color. When I do a painting they tend to be bright *but* not every buyer likes this much color...and it would take a *lot* of primer and paint to make it not so colorful. And who wants to paint a ceiling?

Here's the colorful dining room....And the colorful kitchen. I really like the yellow and think it works well in here. What you can't see is that another wall is painted cobalt blue halfway up.

Here's the den with a purple ceiling...

And the pepto-purple master...I'm going to guess that they are using this as their daughter's room.

Here's the surprisingly tame, and really pretty bonus room. And another upstairs bedroom that I suspect may be the master- with super-cool painted floors.Here is the room that I'd buy this house for- no matter what color the ceiling is. It's a perfectly beautiful sunroom with gorgeous windows and wonderful stone floor. And the outside courtyard.So what say ye? Do you like the color or would it send you running for a can (or 20) of primer?

Monday, September 01, 2008

Date Night!!!

Wow! It seems like months, well it probably has been, but Travis and I finally had a date night last night. Amanda has quit her job to focus on some more important things in this season of her life (college started this past Thursday) so it seems that we have a babysitter again. I typically don't like going out on Sunday nights because Travis has to work the next day and Chloe has school, we've never been able to get out of the house before 8 o'clock because we were waiting on Amanda to get home from work and I felt stressed the whole time to get back. But since today is Labor Day, we had nothing to worry about. Of course, we also didn't know what we were going to do. There's not really that much to do on a Sunday night around here. When I was in college people that weren't from Lakeland would complain about there being nothing to do there and I was always very defensive about that. There was plenty to do in Lakeland and if you tired of doing things there, it was a short drive to the beach or Kissimmee or Orlando, etc. In Franklin they roll up the streets at 9 or earlier. We were going to go to a movie but there is absolutely nothing worth seeing and then we were going to go to play Grand Old Golf in Nashville- we haven't played putt-putt in years. But we decided to have dinner first.

When we left our house we were determined to not talk about anything house or kids related- which proved to be impossible since there are some pretty cool flooring to be purchased for the Button casa in the next few days. But I somehow got into a really, really chatty mood and talked at Travis for an hour or so while he listened and nodded graciously. It reminded me of our talks in the midi-lab at SEU before we were dating. I would talk incessantly (often telling the same story 4 or 5 times) and he would listen and laugh at the appropriate moments and somehow we fell in love...funny. We would have talked longer but I went to the ladies room and he went to get a drink and they cleared our table so I felt guilty about sitting at it again. We took a drive and decided to go to Starbuck's in downtown Franklin. We got there at 9:20 and they were closed! Closed! I was a little bummed. All of the main roads leading to the town square had been closed for the weekend and I didn't know why but when we got out of the car we heard live jazz music. I love jazz. Well, I love the jazz that's mostly horn driven, that has a melody and such. I appreciate the more modern very dissonant jazz but it's not too long before I start to feel stressed. Anyway, we started walking around and found out that this weekend was the annual jazz festival and it was $5 to get in. That's really cheap but it was already late and I figured it would be ending any time which is what I told Travis. A kind gatekeeper happened to hear me and said "it's really late so you guys can just go in, really, it's no big deal". So we got to go in after all. At that point the bands had changed from jazz to salsa, which I like too. I really should have been born Cuban. The bands name was 'something, something, something, Cuba!". Not "kewba" but "cooba" said really, really fast. There were people dancing in the streets and people in lawn chairs and one mom was dancing with her toddler son. It was so sweet and relaxing. We found a bench to sit on and talked. It ended at 10, much to the disappointment of the audience. But apparently there's a city ordinance that says that all music must stop at 10- bummer.

We headed home surprisingly refreshed and our kiddos met us at the door. They had several incredibly important things to tell us and Halle had to slide down Trav's legs. It's amazing how much they miss you in four hours. All in all we had a great time and I didn't feel even the teensiest bit guilty for having fun without my kids (I tend to have a problem with that). I can hardly wait until next time.