28 Apr 2010

Five for Wednesday

Oh blog, how I have neglected you.  I know I always say this, but it has been incredibly crazy around here.  Here are just a few highlights.

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1.) In the past few weeks Jayce has become a little human tornado.  I don’t know what has changed, but he has started constantly getting into everything, causing Chris and I to fondly reminiscing about how, back in the old days, when we didn’t want Jayce to get something we just put it up on a dresser or the counter.  He is just so darn tall and there is an abundance of stools in our house to assist him in his grabbing endeavors, and give me heart attacks over him almost falling off of.  Last week I reached my limit, and decided that all objects that assist him in this current form of orneriness would be temporarily moved into the basement until further notice, so I packed up the barstools, his little owl stool, and even his toilet.  A few days later, he started carrying this horse around, and bringing it into the kitchen to give him better access to the kitchen counters. 

Chris and I just looked at each other.  The boy is innovative.

2.) For those of you who are wondering or have asked how the wedding went last weekend, it was amazing!!  It was my intention to share a few of my favorite pictures, and after spending 1 1/2 hours on Tuesday sorting through 1,000+ images (just mine, combined we took over 4,000!), picking my favorite 20+, and doing some editing (I just couldn’t resist), my computer shut down and all was lost. (More on that in a minute) So now I am back to square one, it didn’t even save the “favorite-d” pictures, let alone the edits, so I promise to share a few once I am working with a new system. 

3.) As to the wedding photography experience, it was really incredible.  Though I will attribute that to a few factors. 

First, Christine is really a photographer and she has all of the tools at her disposal, including (but not limited to),

-being really friendly and a bit bubbly which people love and love to ham it up for,

-top of the line cameras and an array of lenses at her disposal to help her do her best,

-works in a cool city with great backdrops for any picture let alone wedding pictures,

-has done 75+ weddings in 5 wedding seasons, so has lots of experience to draw from,

-knows about photography, and knows which rules to follow and which ones to break,

-has a great eye to see cool and creative shot opportunities and makes them happen.

That said, working with her, and these tools, was fantastic.  The couple was also really great and fun-loving.  They had a bus full of their family and best friends, who spent the day teasing and loving them, and toasting to/with them, which egged on the teasing and loving, which egged on the drinking, and so on.  It made for a great atmosphere and a really fun day.

4.)  In one week we will be flying to Germany.  The volcano has not slowed anything down, thank goodness! 

5.)  My computer has been making my (online, photography, and blogging) life miserable for the past 6+ months, by running incredibly slow, regularly dropping the internet connection, and completely shutting down without warning.  (which is also why there are a lack of pictures in this post)

This (along with our tax refund) has prompted us to purchase a new computer this week.  And we switched sides, from a PC to a Mac.  Here’s to the future. :)

23 Apr 2010

Outside

Now that the weather has turned warm and glorious, we are spending most of our time outside.  If Jayce had his way, we would never come inside.  Ever since he got his new sandals at the onset of the warmth a few weeks ago, as soon as he gets up in the morning he brings them to me, still in his pjs, saying either “shoe, shoe, shoe” or “outside, outside,” over and over.

Since Jayce is obsessed with golf and golf clubs, some good friends of ours recently cut down an adult golf club for him.  He loves it and grabs it immediately when we leave the house, so we’ve been spending a good amount of time golfing around here.2010_04_12_8161

His form isn’t great since he’s still getting used to the weight of this club, which is considerably different than his plastic clubs, but he is always teeing off.

2010_04_12_8175 We do lots of swinging.

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We mow, usually on the sidewalk (of course). 

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Jayce wears his new hat, even though it’s so big that it often falls over his eyes.  Luckily he has a set of ears that keep it from going too far awry. :)

2010_04_14_8233 But it is kind of hard to see the planes going by.  Poor thing.

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He also has his glasses.  And by that I mean, my old broken sunglasses.  I’ve said before how my boy loves his accessories, and also to do whatever his dad and I are doing.  Therefore, since I always have sunglasses on outside he insists on a pair for himself as well.  He doesn’t mind that they don’t have lenses, and will wear them for our walks cracking Chris and I up along the way.

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This is the picture that will make me really sad while we’re away.  I love this crazy little kid.

 

22 Apr 2010

Hadley Ann Morrison

Congratulations to Matt and Melanie on the birth of their beautiful new baby girl, Hadley!  She was born April 21, 6lbs 7oz, 19 inches long.

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We are so excited for them and bummed that we couldn’t be there yesterday.  We talked to Jayce about his new cousin throughout the day and I thought that he could send a little message her way.  We had a few takes, he lost patience quickly and easily.

 

We love you Matt, Melanie and Hadley!  We can’t wait to see you all!

21 Apr 2010

So Much to Say So Much to Say…

Today I have a lot to say, but just don’t feel like writing.  So I’ll let Google images assist in sharing my sentiments.

As of today, we leave for Germany in exactly 2 weeks.  If you missed my shameless bragging/freaking out, you can find out more information about why we’re going here.

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A week later, we will be back in glorious Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland 

That is, if this

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doesn’t cause this

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which is starting to make me panic just a little bit.

I am so very excited about our trip, but am already a little bit panicked about leaving this guy,

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for an incredibly long 10 day stretch.  The longest ever for us, by over a week.  And just to add insult to injury, I will be away from him during this.

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Last year for Mother’s day weekend we were at my mom’s house.  It was so great to see her, but since driving home from their house took all day (literally, like 11 hours), we arrived home exhausted, it wasn’t really the “celebration of mom” sort of experience for me.  When I mentioned to Chris that this trip was over Mother’s Day weekend, the conversation went a bit like this.

“Erin, he’s not going to know the difference.”

I’m not worried about him knowing the difference, I’m going to know!”

“Well, you’ll be doing other fun things.”

I’m not worried about not having fun, I’ll just be really sad to be away from Jayce, especially on Mother’s Day!  Just say, ‘It’s sad that  you’ll be away from Jayce on Mother’s Day’.”

“It’s sad that you’ll be away from Jayce on Mother’s Day.”

Maybe I’ll just drown my sorrow in a bit of this

AppleStrudel_Berghoff325or this.

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Yeah, I’ll definitely do that.

18 Apr 2010

On Reading to 5 Year Olds

Last week I worked in the 5 year old room at church.  I’ve only worked with them a few times now, so I’m never quite sure what to expect.  I do peruse the blogs of a few friends of mine with kids this age because I like seeing what they (my friends) are up to, and also what their kids are up to, because I know this age is rapidly approaching in my own life.  Actually one of my friends has 2 boys, Owen and Eli, who are 5 and almost 3 (right, A?),  so though she thinks she is simply chronicling their lives, really, she is giving me a daily dose of what to expect in the short and long term with little boys.  It’s so nice of her to do this for me. :)  She also dresses stylishly when she takes her boys to the zoo, but I don’t hold that against her. 

Anyway, back to the 5 year olds that were in my present and not my future, the 5 year old Sunday School class.  Almost immediately upon entering the room, I had one of the shy little girls on my lap, asking me to read her a story.  No problem, I read stories all the time.  I asked her to go pick out a few books and she quickly joined me back in my lap. 

The first book that she selected was called, “Scott’s Mom Gets Re-Married,” or something like that.  We opened up to the first page where I started off reading the story as it was, which went something like this. “Scott and his Mom were moving in with Bob, because his Mom and Bob were in love and wanted to be close to one another.  Bob had 2 kids, Henry and Jessica, and now Scott would have to live with all 3 of them.”

At this point another little girl had curled up in my lap, and I was acutely aware that I had NO IDEA about the dynamics of either of these children’s families.  My eyes skimmed over the first few sentences of the next page, which said, among other things, “Bob wanted Scott to call him Dad, but Scott was NOT going to do this.  Scott already had a dad and didn’t need another one.”  I decided that since neither of the kids were proficient enough readers to know the difference, I would be telling a nice story the best I could, and I would try to get it to go along with the illustrations on the subsequent pages.

I wonder if you can tell what was really happening in the pictures?

Sometimes Scott had to wait outside the bathroom while Jessica was in there getting ready. It was okay, because Scott thought she was nice, so he sat down and waited until she was finished.”

When Scott and Henry moved into the same room they had so much fun.  Henry took a rope and tied it across the middle of the room, how funny!  He then put all of Scott’s toys in the closet, it was so nice of him to help Scott clean up.”

I started skipping several pages at a time and finished that book quickly.  The next book was a children’s encyclopedia of animals in the Bible.  I opened to the first page, and found rather lengthy descriptions accompanied by cartoon pictures, so I started just asking the girls questions about the pictures.  This got shut down pretty quickly by the first girl, who said, “Uh, why are you telling us about the pictures instead of reading the story?”  I don’t take too well to being called out, so I flipped the page and started to read.

“This is a mule.  Mules are born when male donkeys mate with female horses.”  (I’m not kidding, this part  is not paraphrased.)

I then I closed the book  and announced that we were going to go build with blocks.  And realized that I was sweating a little. 

16 Apr 2010

Friday Five

I have so many mini things to share here, and the time just keeps getting further and further away from me, so I think that the only way for me to get through them is to turn to bulleted lists, which for the record, gosh I love so much. :)  I’ve said before that my friend Tiffany does a Five for Friday, which I love, so I am borrowing it today.  Thanks Tiffany!

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1.) A few weeks ago, instead of leaving me with my allotted 2 cups of coffee, Chris left me with 1 and less than a half.  Determined to make the most of it, I put it in a small mug to try to make it seem like there was more and trick myself into being satisfied with it.  But when I finished, I set it too close to the edge of the table, Jayce got a hold of it (empty), it fell and broke.

The mug was a souvenir from this amazing German market that we frequented during the Christmas season while we lived in Scotland.  It was so satisfying to stand out in the brisk Scottish winter, sipping on mulled wine from one of these mugs while you chatted with friends or browsed the German goods that were for sale. 

2.) Which brings me to item #2. I have other mugs from that market so all is not lost, but it brings back a debate that Chris and I often have about functional souvenirs like this.  I say use them, he says don’t.  I had already ruined 2 mugs that we brought back from Rome, which had beautiful sepia toned depictions of St Peter’s Square and the Coliseum, but after a careless run in with the dishwasher  they were reduced to 2 plain white mugs.  If I keep using these sorts of things, eventually they will all be broken, cracked or completely ruined.  But if I just put them up high and never take them down, then I won’t periodically smile and run my thumb over the design on the side, remembering the circumstances in which they were purchased.

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3.) Over the last few weeks, Jayce has decided that it is finally time to start trying to talk, instead of being satisfied to call everything “ga” or “da ya.”  It is such a relief to hear the variety of sounds that are now pouring out with minor prompting.  When asking him to say please, I used to think, “Just make ANY of the sounds in that word.  The P, or the E, or the S…just not ga!”  And now, for some unknown reason all of those sounds are coming together.  I guess all of those people who said, “He’ll start when he’s ready,” were right.

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4.) I’m making my first trip to Chicago this weekend to be the second shooter on a wedding with Christine, as I’ve said.  I found out this week that the wedding will be at the historic Old St Patrick’s Church, the oldest church in Chicago which is beautiful, but incredibly strict, so that should be an interesting experience.  After the ceremony we will be taking a party bus around the city for 2 hours to photograph the wedding party at various Chicago sites, before heading on to the reception.  Isn’t that crazy?!  Like, crazy in a good way. What a fun thing to do, and a lucky way for me to be able to see some of Chicago’s best!

5.) The other day I fixed Jayce a smoothie, as I have many times before, and set him down in his high chair to enjoy.  I went to get some clothes in the other room when I heard him start cracking up.  I got my video camera and tried to remain inconspicuous at first, as the camera is usually the best way to get him to stop whatever he is doing, but it turns out that whatever he was doing was more interesting than me with the camera.

It’s a little bit gross, in that, “kid with food on their face” kind of way.  But despite that, it is cute in that, “kid laughing hysterically” kind of way.  Below is Take #2, once I realized that my presence wouldn’t deter him in the least.

I think bubble blowing was the cause for all of the hilarity.  Enjoy and have a great weekend!

This Means Summer

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I just found these pictures from a few months back when Jayce’s grandparents were in town visiting.

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They actually are pretty indicative of what has been going on around here a lot lately.

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The ice cream and the mooching.

14 Apr 2010

Easy, Easier, Easiest Displays

I wrote this post on Monday over on Lemon Tree Creations, but I thought I would share it here too, since this is what most of my family and friends visit, and they are the ones who accuse me of being overly crafty.

Anyway, ever since I started publicly showcasing some of the things that I make on blogs, I have been hearing the following comment in some form or another, “Well, I would make stuff too, but I’m just not crafty.” I then start into a tirade logical explanation on how, a lot of the things that I make don’t involve an ounce of craftiness or artistic training, but that sometimes it just involves me literally putting a few things together. Whomever has just received my verbal lashing quickly retreats with a “Well, I don’t know…” but it seems that they are secretly thinking that I possess some secret knowledge that they don’t. Therefore, I wanted to share a few of my most recent assembling-of-goods-into-something-pretty as a reminder that sometimes a little luck in the thrift store is more useful than a little talent.

 

Example #1: Easy

I neglected to get a before picture of this because I wasn’t planning to do a tutorial on it, given that the detailed instructions would be, “Buy these 2 things. Glue them together. The end.” I found the wooden plate and glass cover for $2.50 at Goodwill, headed over to the candlesticks, found one with a similar color of wood for $.69, headed home, added some Gorilla glue to the mix, and was done. The glass was heavier than I had originally thought, and with my toddler currently on a grabbing rampage I wanted it to be a little more stable. So I bought this little round wood piece for $.40 from Jo-Annes, stained it, and then glued it to the bottom of the candlestick.

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Tada! This would be the end of the story, but since I can’t leave well enough alone/wanted a little more contrast with the wood in my kitchen, I painted mine a dusty blue from a leftover paint sample.

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Total time: Not including shopping, maybe 15 minutes. Craftiness: Not an ounce.

 

Example #2: Easier

What do you do when you see cute spring plates, but don’t actually need any plates? Buy a dinner and salad plate, add a candlestick, and turn them into a tiered display!

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I got these plates at Walmart, and the candle stick at Goodwill. I painted the wood on the candlestick white to go with the plates a bit better, then used my Gorilla glue to glue the big plate to the bottom of the candlestick, and the little plate to the top.

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Total time: 8 minutes, only because I was trying to be careful not to get the white paint onto the silver of the candlestick. Craftiness: Nada.

 

Example #3: Easiest

Go to thrift store on the day that they receive the truck, go straight to the glassware/house wares, buy darling glass containers that were previously unappreciated and vow not to make the same mistake. Bring them home and fill with goodies.

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Total time: I don’t know, how quickly do you commit to your decor? I am indecisive and my displays are constantly evolving, but I promised you displays without craftiness not quick decorating! :) Craftiness: None whatsoever.

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I hope these little projects have instilled a little bit of DIY confidence into you non-crafters.

 

13 Apr 2010

A Sweet Shot

Though I am certainly not opposed to nature photography, it is not usually what I photograph.  But last week this sunset was too pretty to ignore, so I became “that person,” the one shivering in my backyard, crouched over and trying to get the perfect angle of the sky, sunset and tree.  At least it worked pretty well.  I’m linking to Sweet Shot Tuesday at Life with My Three Boybarians.

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This weekend will start my very first ever paid photography endeavor.  I am hoping for steady hands, friendly people and nerves of steel.  Wish me luck!

12 Apr 2010

The Buttered Popcorn Jelly Belly

If you ever get around my brother for a minute, ask him about the time that I gave him his first buttered popcorn flavored jelly belly.  It involves him driving me home from work one night, me giving him this jelly bean, him not liking it, spitting it out, asking for something else to get the taste out of his mouth, and me giving him a few more of the same.  And repeat.  It’s better when he tells it.  And it was hilarious for  me!

 

So I thought I’d see what happened when I gave Jayce one of these jelly beans.  Unfortunately it was not quite as dramatic as with my brother.  Jayce persevered.  Even though he didn’t like it, it was a jelly bean, and jelly beans would be eaten.

8 Apr 2010

Easter Morning

On Easter morning when we were little, my mom would get up before we did (or before she went to bed the night before), and hide plastic eggs around the house for us to find.  Waking up and finding them was one of our favorite traditions, maybe even more so than our actual Easter baskets.  They were each filled with goodies, some with candy, and as we got older, some with money.  It was just change at first, but there was usually 1 egg with a $5 bill in it, and that was the big one.  The hiding spots got more challenging too, and finding eggs in the really unusual spots was as much of an accomplishment as finding lots of eggs.

I was so excited that this year Jayce would be old enough to participate in a little egg hunt.  We didn’t travel for the holiday and though we missed being with our families, we were excited about the opportunity that this would present to form some traditions of our own.  The first would be the egg hunt.

The night before I took a bunch of eggs, put a single jelly bean in each one, and put them around the house.  When Jayce got up Sunday morning we were snuggling on the couch and I asked Jayce if he could see any Easter eggs in the room.  He gave a little giggle and I put him down to go grab them.  He went after the first one, picked it up, shook it, opened it, giggled again when he discovered the jelly bean and quickly popped it into his mouth.

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I know these pictures aren’t great, but I was too busy enjoying watching him carefully make his way around the rooms, looking for eggs, and stopping to open each one before moving onto the next.  It was a fun way to ease us all into this tradition, because I know that before long he will be frantically running around grabbing up as many as possible as quickly as possible.  Even Chris was excited and kept trying to point more out to Jayce, as I tried to keep Chris quiet so that Jayce could discover them on his own.  I did eventually let Chris help him though.

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Chris cooked up a great pancake breakfast for us before heading out to church.   We saved Easter baskets for after church and Jayce helped his dad put together this fun new toy. 

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t ball1 tball 2

which he is still getting the hang of.

It was a perfect day, full of family time, naps, candy, cooking, sidewalk chalk, wagon rides and overall hanging out.

5 Apr 2010

Blue: The Kitchen Part 2

We painted the kitchen and it is beautiful. It’s crazy how finding just the right color can completely transform a room. It is now a perfect, airy, cool blue.

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I keep just walking into the room and smiling. (If you want to see my unhappy before pictures, click here.)2010_04_02_7566

I don’t even mind that it is barely decorated, having a good color is decoration enough for now.

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That said, I am enjoying filling it little by little. Before, none of the “accessories” in the house looked good in that room, but now they all do. After the room was reassembled, I just went around the house picking up my favorite items, bringing them into the kitchen and smiling at how lovely they all looked in the new light. 2010_04_02_7550 Ahhhhhhhh.

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I feel like I should point out that, for the purpose of these pictures, the room has been moderately to heavily staged, and many items were removed. Jayce started running around like crazy when he woke up from his nap, and grabbing up all of the items that had been temporarily moved into the living room while I was taking these pictures. He would triumphantly bring each thing over to me, yelling excited toddler jibberish, as if he was saying “Toaster! My booster seat! Dish soap! I never get to hold this stuff!” He also just could have been excited about the new color.

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Also, the color is Pelican by Olympus, which I got at Lowes.

Chelsea, now will you forgive us?

Also, I finally finished this PB knock off this weekend and posted the tutorial on Lemon Tree Creations if you’re interested. Yes, it will probably end up in the now-perfect kitchen.

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4 Apr 2010

And It Was All Yellow: The Kitchen Part 1

In our old house in Cincinnati, we painted the feature wall a nice soft buttery yellow color, and I absolutely loved it.  Everything else in the kitchen was white, and at the time I didn’t know how that played into my love of the kitchen, until now.  We had a white ceiling, white floors, white appliances, and the other 3 walls were white.  We had dark brown cabinets on one of the walls, but other than that, the whole room was filled with a soft light glow, especially in the morning and evening when the light was coming in from different angles.  I always smiled as soon as I walked in that room.  So when we decided to paint this house, I took a similar approach, not taking into account any other factors in my decision other than having loved my old yellow kitchen.

And I ended up with this.  It is not actually such a bad picture, and you are more likely to look at the clutter than the wall color (please don’t though, it’s not usually as bad as this!)  If I had thought ahead, I would have taken pictures of it at the times of day when it bothered me the most, but this was more of a last minute, I’m-about-to-paint-over-this-so-I-should-take-a-before-picture.  Anyway, in this house, my kitchen is filled with beautiful maple colored cabinets and drawers.  Pretty much from the top to the bottom I have a warm orange-y brown color. 

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In our dining nook, our table also has a walnut colored finish, and our sliding doors are covered by a dark brown curtain, which was specifically chosen to give us a bit of privacy, but also allow us to see the backyard through the curtain, so that we could enjoy the great scenery that we lucked into when we bought this house.

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All of this brown plus the yellow wall color means that all day our kitchen is full of a warm orange glow, which I hate.  It is dark, orange, impossible to decorate, and I just hate it.  I’ve realized in this process that I just really prefer neutral and cool colors.   They are on my walls, in the decorations that I put out, on the things that I make, in my closet and even  the clothes that I buy for Chris and Jayce.  Furthermore, I have been trying unsuccessfully to decorate this room ever since we moved in, but every time that I hold something up against the walls, it just doesn’t look right with the yellow and ends up somewhere else. 

So this past weekend, when Mom came into town to visit, this was our big project.  The kitchen.

I knew what color I wanted on the walls instead. Something  that would compliment the cabinets better and bring down the orange-y yellow factor a ton: a nice cool grey blue.  We went to the wall with a few paint samples and were really surprised by results.  In the picture below, the 2 colors on the left are the exact same colors that are beside them on the white!  Don’t they look so different?  (Just say yes, and appease me, please.)  I couldn’t believe when I first painted them how periwinkle colored they looked!  A friend came by and commented, “Yep, the yellow just completely sucks the grey out of those colors.”  (That yellow paint, it does stuff like that.)  Luckily we tried the colors on white, were able to get a better idea of what the color would look like, and picked a good one.

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Another picture of the grey-sucking yellow color.

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The funny thing about Mom and I painting the kitchen is that last Christmas, Mom, Chelsea and I painted the kitchen this yellow color in a weekend painting extravaganza.  Chelsea wasn’t able to come to town this time, and was really annoyed that we were painting over the yellow, which she liked.  She had taken tons of time to carefully tape off all of the edges of the room and paint the annoying small spots that mom and I had put off, and was probably even more annoyed than she was letting on that we were painting over the evidence of all of her hard work.2009_01_07_0156

So Chelsea, I would like to dedicate this post, the yellow post, to you.  You were not afraid to go the extra mile, and put yourself a position that someone could possibly photograph and harass you over, in order to get the yellow edges painted perfectly.

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All together now, “She’s going the distance, she’s going for speed…”

Stay tuned for pictures of the new kitchen, in all of it’s loveliness…

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