::red brick house:: welcome to our home!

 Finally!  A few pictures of our house!  (as a side note, it's been so long since I've blogged
that I'm not even sure how to use this new format... so if it looks all wonky, my apologies!)
We're still working on so much of our house - there's so many details that are getting pushed
by the wayside since they're unexciting (um, painting doors!?!) so I feel pretty accomplished
that I've finally finished our entryway.  (Coincidence that it's the tiniest space in the house? 
Mm, probably not!)
 When you first walk in, there's the old cigar store Indian to greet you, standing in front of the old bus scroll
that I made a few years ago to commemorate some of the spots we've visited together.  Looking
forward you can see a little ways down the hallway that leads to all of the bedrooms.
 Looking up, you can see my favorite part of the entry - the ceiling!  I love the old schoolhouse light fixture
(we got ours from Amazon) and the painted chevron ceiling.  Our walls have way too much
texture to tape off lines (so I thought...) so this is one of the few places I could try this...I put it off for
so long because I thought it was going to be unbelievable tricky, but once I decided to do it, the
project went pretty quickly and I got it done in an afternoon.  I'll try to post a tutorial on how I did it...
 View from the living room... this archway is to the left of the door when you walk in.
 I really wanted our entry to be FUNCTIONAL, with lots of hooks, a place to sit, and room
for shoes, since otherwise, things just get trashed.  (I know us.)  Chad made this bench for me that we
were using as a coffee table, but we moved it in here to take advantage of its size.  I still love it
just as much as when he first made it for me! 
The little coat rack was my simple project.  I measured it to take advantage of every inch along that wall.  I measured and cut the board to the exact length of the room.  I ran a real quick coat of stain that I had onhand over the length of the board, and then screwed in these eight little schoolhouse hooks that I found at Home Depot.  There's actually some stamping on the wood that I left on the side that showed just because I like the look of it. 
Up above the coatrack is an old black and white photo of our little town, back when it was just getting started.  I followed Jenny's link to the tutorial from here, but I have to be honest:  this was not a smooth project for me.  It's a photo blown up on blueprint paper, then attached to foam core board from Home Depot with spray adhesive.  Sounds simple, right?  I could not get a straight edge to save my life, and probably would have abandoned the project if it weren't for the fact that the placement here means that nobody will ever see the edges of it. 
I went through two different kinds of insulation - one made of little styrofoam balls that was a complete mess.  The second was more like the foam core board you find for science projects, but it was pink.  So when you visit, look close, and you may see a pinkish hue!  I did this a while ago, and about two months later, the paper started falling off of the styrofoam.  Instead of respraying everything, I just stuck a piece of two sided tape in each corner and it's been fine, but we'll see how long it lasts.

 Anoher view of the painted Chevron ceiling, just cause!
This is the view from the hallway, looking back at the front door.  Pretty simple, but I want to point
out the horse shoe hanging above the door for good luck.  I've wanted one for a while, but didn't want
just any old horseshoe, so I asked my Gramma in Oklahoma if she could get one for me... and the last
time my parents came to visit they brought it along from their last trip to see Gramma in OK.  I love
that there's a little part of her and Oklahoma in our house!
So there it is!  Truth is, I still need to paint the baseboards and, of course, the doors, but for now I
love it.  It's reassuring when I look around our house and see bare walls with no pictures and nail
holes and wires that at least one small space looks finished and complete and that I love everything about it!
I'm hoping this will get me  back on the bandwagon to start 1.  Blogging again and 2.  To start
documenting our house and our lives again.  There's a lot going on around these parts!!!


Since I'm obviously less than stellar at blogging these days, please allow me to direct you to my sister's blog for a little intro to our recent trip! 


::home:: the christmas version

Since we've moved into our new home, I've been trying to make sure that anything goes up is
something that one of us really loves. Since the dude doesn't usually care one way or the other,
that's usually my determination (though I do ask for his opinion, probably relentlessly). The
same thing applies for Christmas decor, and I have to say that I've really loved decorating this year.
Most of our Christmasy things went into the living room and our bedroom, simply because those
are the two rooms that are the most "finished". Hopefully, next year we'll have even more pics
of more places!
From the top:
Christmas book collection and a crock that I never got around to potting an evergreen in,
our few presents all wrapped up after the Wrap Party,
my old school Santa collection (I mostly like Santas with hoods) on the mantle,
my nativity under last year's gift from my mom - my cloche,
three wooden reindeer,
homemade pendant that Jill and I made while she was out for Thanksgiving and last year's
Christmas card from R,
and tree bark canoes from my Mom stuffed with evergreen and candy canes,
Homemade pendants on the curtains behind the tree and Barb's gift to us this year
I love a Christmas house.


::dec 22:: a christmas wrap party

Thursday was our (First Annual??) Wrap Party and it was a success!
So much so, in fact, that I didn't take a single picture the entire evening.
We sent our invitations in early December so that folks would know to hold
their presents and not have to worry about the wrapping until the night of the party.
We had seven folks wrapping (and two husbands for a little while) and it was a flurry
of wrapping paper, bows, boxes, and sweet treats.
Things went pretty quickly and as people finished up with their own gifts, we moved
on to those that had more to wrap. Leslie mentioned how great it was going to be that
she didn't have to be up till 3 am on Christmas Eve finishing up the wrapping!
This was such a low-key, easy party to throw that I think we'll do the same thing again next year.
Chad suggested maybe even inviting couples and having the girls upstairs and the guys
downstairs with the kitchen as a neutral zone, so we may do it that way to switch it up...

::dec 21:: christmas baking

Wednesday night was a storm of baking in preparation for tomorrow night's Wrap Party!
We have plenty of ginger molasses cookies, wassail, candy cane brownies, candied popcorn,
rice krispy treats, and cream puffs (not homemade). Let the wrapping begin!
Pic from here

::dec 20:: shopping for baking

Tonight we ran to the Wal-Marts to pick up some baking supplies -
tomorrow night is our treat baking night and we're getting ready!
(An added bonus? Some friends stopped by to say hello and brought us each
an early Christmas present - a rope bag for him and an apron for me - perfect timing!)
Pic from here
do you feel like this is a stretch to call this our christmas activity?
probably, but it works for me

::dec 18:: christmas concert with grandma

Sunday morning was the Conference Center for Music and the Spoken Word
with Grandma and Jana and Steve and their local family.
Beautiful - and we just so happened to have a-mazing seats!


::dec 17:: reindeer and a christmas concert

Saturday morning (our 'versary! 6 years!) we headed up north.
We had tickets to the annual Christmas Concert at the LDS
Conference center, so we decided to make a weekend out of it.
On the way up, we stopped and saw the reindeer at
Thanksgiving Point! They must know the Big Night is coming
up soon because they didn't do a whole lot except lay around
(and look really bored!)


::dec 16:: work christmas party

Friday night was our annual work party. This year I was involved in helping to plan it,
and it turned out to be a complete success! I think what really made the evening fun
were the incentives that we used to get people to dress using Christmas colors
and Christmas "bling". All of the red and green and Santa hats felt so festive
and as cheesy as it sounds, I think it really put everyone in the Christmas spirit.
(turns out, we don't own any Christmas bling, so we used all the red we could find!)

::dec 14:: fail!

On Wednesday, we get all ready to go out to Tuacahn to see the live
nativity, one of our very favorite Christmas traditions. When we got
out there, though, it was all dark and quiet, and no one was around.
Turns out, they only do the nativity on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
now. Instead, we took some pictures by the lit Christmas tree, and headed
home with our hot chocolate. I hope we make it back before Christmas!


::dec 13:: making a list and checking it twice

Tonight we stayed in and reviewed our list for Christmas shopping.
We had a couple of gifts still up in the air but had some good ideas
tonight. Now hopefully tomorrow we can get it done!


::dec 12:: trimming the tree

Tonight we decorated the tree that we brought home last night.
It's so little and perfect, we just love it!
As has become our tradition, I put on the lights and Chad helped put on the ornaments.
It takes so much less time to decorate a little five footer!


::dec 11:: picking out the perfect tree

Finally, we picked out a Christmas tree!
We went with a much smaller size this year.
This guy is about five feet tall but he's just perfect for what we wanted.
We'll let him spread his branches and settle in a little bit and then maybe tomorrow...
we decorate!

::dec 10:: christmas shopping

Chad took a break from his studies to do a little Christmas shopping with me.
We picked out some good things that I think those girls will like!
And then... dinner with friends to close out the evening.
I love Christmas weekends.

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