Monday, January 31, 2011

Bathroom remodel - almost complete!

On Saturday, I was finally able to do laundry for the first time in two weeks -- in our new bathroom! We still don't have a mirror, and we're going to return the light and get a new one that points up. So far so good, huh? I'm hoping to have the final photos by this weekend.

 It still needs some cleaning and polishing. The faucets came in the mail today, so we should have those in and running by the end of the week. I love waking up and gazing at the new vanity and backsplash. And I love doing laundry in the new washer and dryer. We're also eventually going to replace the exterior door and the shower door. Here's another look at the before pics. Is this even the same bathroom? I have to keep pinching myself.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bathroom remodel - full speed ahead

There is a light at the end of the tunnel for our bathroom remodel. The grout was completed tonight, so I'm hoping to spend the weekend doing laundry even if everything else isn't complete. Here's some photos of the journey since January 15 - the Saturday after I got back from NYC and before the DC trip.

Here's the before pictures again....

And after the demo....
Yep, you can see outside

new plumbing for the washer, so we can stack them. Yay!

backsplash tile

tolet. yes tolet

 After we got home from NC.....

 A farewell to the old washer and dryer....
old washer

old dryer
I'll update in the morning with a photo of the completed tile floor.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mema and a home update

As most of you know, while I was in Washington DC, I received a late-night call from my dad that my Mema had passed away after surviving triple-bypass surgery, cancer and a couple of strokes over the last 15 years. She was tired and she is now at peace. She wanted her funeral to be a celebration, and we sure tried to honor her wish. Scott and I had a great visit with the family. Mema finally got all her "biddies" (grandchildren and great-grandchildren) home at the same time. She said she was like a mother hen and liked to have her biddies all around her. Unfortunately, life and careers have scattered all the grandchildren from California to Ohio to Florida, so it is difficult to get us all home at the same time.
On Friday night we had the viewing and receiving line. I've never shaken so many hands, and I was touched by the outpouring of support from the hundreds of people who came through that line. Many people noticed that my cousins and I looked a lot like Mema in her younger years. The funeral home had put together a slide show of pictures of her, and it was playing that night. It's quite a compliment. She was beautiful. I will miss her so much.

with my dad in the yard of the family home in Raleigh

Mema and Papa

July 2010

After we returned home from Raleigh, which was my third set of flights in two weeks, we went out to the garden to pull some carrots. And to my surprise, some peas were ready, too! Here's a few pics of the corn and a poppy flower before we left. I believe these were taken on January 14 -- between the New York and DC trips.

And here's when we got home on Sunday morning.

 Carrots for dinner!

I think we'll actually be able to eat corn from the garden!

We have also been in the middle of a bathroom remodel. It all started with a post on Young House Love. Here's their post about the delivery of theirs. We just wanted a new washer and dryer. We got that and a whole lot more. After I ordered the same pair (we got 10% off and they got 20% off), I realized that our hot water supply was leaking. Not a big deal on our old set. I just washed all our laundry on cold, but now I want to take advantage of the hot water features on modern washers. When I called our neighbor over I told him we wanted it fixed, but we really wanted them stacked to make room for a double vanity. And new tile on the floors. Soooooo.....we currently have tile down (travertine I found on sale for $1.68 per sq ft) -- no grout yet. The vanity and faucets are on the way. We have a new backsplash, light fixture and a toilet in the office waiting to be installed. Quite exciting. So long old mauve tile and cheapo vanity! I'm hoping to show some pics of the progress this week. And hopefully we'll have some after photos by this weekend!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Washington, DC trip

I'm finishing up a great trip to Washington, DC, with reporter Janine Zeitlin. We came to interview PFC Corey Kent who is recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center from severe injuries after stepping on an IED while serving in Afghanistan in July. It's been a long road for Corey since he lost both legs and the fingers on his left hand. He's finally gotten to the point in his recovery where he can begin the process of learning to walk again. He just got one of his new legs and hopes to get the other next week. It was all I could do to hold back the tears while he was talking. He is so brave and thoughtful and smart. He's seen more in his 22 years that any person should ever have to see. You can read the short version of Janine's story here and in The News-Press tomorrow.

Here's my video:

And here's the link to my photo gallery.
I just want to say thank you to Corey and all the other soldiers and marines recovering at Walter Reed. You are appreciated and have done something I would never have the guts to do. Good luck in your recovery. Thank you for the opportunity to share your story!

Here's a couple shots from DC. It's cold and icy here. Unfortunately we didn't get to see many sites, but we did get on the Metro to go to Dupont Circle for breakfast.

Dupont Circle

Janine on the way down to the metro

icy tree

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Big Apple, Part IV

This is the final installment of my New York trip with my Dad. Our mission was to get me to the Martha Stewart Show on Thursday, January 13. I got tickets because I subscribed to Martha's tweets and saw a message looking for brides-to-be to be in her show's audience. I quickly filled out the form and forgot about it. Then, about a week before Christmas while Dad and Judy were visiting, I got the email saying I was confirmed for two tickets.
Emily Whittamore (Scott's sister) was naturally my first choice because she is getting married in March. Unfortunately the show was the first week of her new teaching internship, so she couldn't take the time off work. I jokingly told Dad that he should come with me because he had never been to New York City. He laughed and said, "Yeah, right," and I left it at that. I invited Molly, too, but she's planning a trip to Cali soon and couldn't afford it. (By the way -- please keep Molly in your prayers. She had to have her appendix out while I was gone and is still in a lot of pain.) So it's probably best she didn't make the trip....

On the next day, my dad said he would go with me. I was shocked, but super excited to show him the city. We made plans that night. Thanks for everything, Dad. It was a great trip, and it was so nice to spend one-on-one time with you!

So without further ado......we'll start with some photos from the rooftop deck of our hotel. It has a bar that's open in the summer, so we'll be staying there again for sure. What a view! and free!

On Thursday morning I woke up feeling like crap again. I couldn't eat really any breakfast and then it was gone from my stomach immediately anyway. So after several doses of Pepto and a prayer, I started feeling better. We changed our flights to Thursday night, so I wouldn't have to spend my entire flight home Friday morning in the airplane bathroom. Dad to the rescue again!

After the travel was rearranged, I ran downstairs to catch a cab to Martha's studio in Chelsea. I arrived about an hour early and was the seventh person in line. All the brides-to-be were super nice and of course, excited about the show. After about an hour frostbite was starting to set in on my toes, but they finally led us into the waiting room after passing through security. We filled out releases and question forms and waited to be called into the studio. At about 2 p.m., they called my number and I was seated on the second row of the middle section on the floor -- right in front of where Martha starts the show! The show airs on January 20 at 10 a.m. on the Hallmark Channel, so look for me in the floor seats. We could only take photos of before and after the here they are.

The line behind me at Martha

How did Martha know these are my wedding colors?

in the waiting area

walking in...

setting up...taken from my seat

self-portrait.. ugh..

the audience behind me. it was full by the time the show started.

seats to my right

from my seat

Oscar de la Renta dress for the fashion show

after the show

after the show. Oscar de la Renta, left, and Darcy Miller, right, head of Martha Stewart Weddings

After the show I grabbed my gifts (yay- Thanks Martha!) and bolted down the street while trying to put on my coat and catch a cab. The first cabbie said no, so I ran a couple blocks, and finally one stopped for me. I was running late to catch our car to the airport, so I was glad he stopped. I don't think I could have run another block. I made it to the car a little late, but the driver waited for me. Dad had everything packed and ready to go. It was sad to leave, but I was so happy on Thursday night to be at home and in my own bed. But I will be going back. Scott and I have never been there together, so we need to have some shared memories there. It was a great trip. I just wish I could have enjoyed some food while I was there.