Thursday, May 27, 2010

Do I smell???


This question has been plaguing me since about 7:45 this morning... 

Today was my last half day of school with the kiddos.  It was VERY bittersweet to say the least.  These little boogers have been with me through some fairly huge events.  Throughout this school year I was a nomad (before we got married I lived in several different places), I got married, and I graduated.  The kids have been so sweet and understanding--a truly unforgettable group of children.  They say there is always that "one class"--a special one you won't forget.  I truly believe this might have been mine.  I wish I could take the time to share all of the special moments from the school year--there are so many!  I wish God's richest blessings on all 22 little ones--may God continue to give them successes in life.  I will miss them!

On to the title of my post...I have a very sweet little girl in my class that brought me a gift today on our last day of school.  She had written me a really sweet letter about her school year and drawn me a picture of the two of us--I looked great!  However, buried in the tissue paper I found the real gift.  A 4-pack of Dove deodorant.  All I could say was, "Oh...Wow."  I finally just had to ask, "Should this be telling me something? Do I smell?"  The child emphatically replied, "No!"  However, she never really explained either.  Therefore, I spent the rest of the day hounding my teaching buddies about whether or not they thought that I smelled.  Self-conscious much???  Get a multi-pack of deodorant as a gift and you sure will be!

***If you know me and at any point have felt that I do in fact smell, please feel free to let me know.  It's already out in the open anyway. :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tub Re-Do!!!




While at work today, my mom went to town on our guest tub.  As explained before, we had a hole that needed to be plugged and we needed the whole tub to be refinished.  If you look back at earlier posts, the tub was off-white and in poor condition.  Therefore, my mom purchased Bondo to plug the hole and a product called Tubby to refinish the tub.  The results are AWESOME.  In case anyone out there is wondering, Tubby works on all sorts of tubs.  My mom said people have even taken green tubs and turned them white.  Just an idea!  This option is MUCH cheaper and easier than trying to completely replace a tub unit.  Here are the current pictures of the bathroom...it's a mess!!!


The tub as it drys...it is true white now!

Another shot...

If you remember, this is where the hole was previously.  You would never know it was there!!!

This is our latest art project at the house...NOT!  We are getting quite ambitious and are going to hammer/pry this mirror off of the wall.  It was glued on many moons ago (sadly enough), so it has to be demolished to get it off.  I am dying to put up a smaller, cutesyfied (not a word) mirror in its place.  So, my mom taped up the mirror this morning and I may add a bit of Saran wrap before we begin the craziness.  Basically the idea is to catch as much of the mirror as possible in the taping and wrap.  Most people suggest using plastic wrap that carpet installers use, but we certainly don't have any of that lying around.  If you do, go for it!  I'm crossing my fingers that the wall behind this isn't completely awful--we will definitely have to sand and paint at the very least.

I wanted to get a picture of the vanity top and faucet hardware because these will soon be replaced!  The big question all along was whether to salvage the vanity or not.  To save money we decided to salvage the cabinets (we refinished them with the stain and seal), but decided to get a new true white vanity top (approximately 65 bucks) and a new brushed nickel faucet (approximately 35 bucks).  All in all, a much cheaper option. 
Is this a sewage grate?  No!  This is our fabulous bathroom lighting.  Yes, we know, you wish you had one of these.  This has been the biggest question mark for us in the bathroom re-do.  How can we replace this in a way that looks appropriate/better?  We have tentatively decided to cover the existing hole/grate completely and re-wire a new light of some sort.  Does it sound like I don't know what I'm talking about?  I don't!!!  We will figure it out at some point. :)

As you can see, the bathroom is a wreck, but that's what remodeling is all about, right?  We never use this bath anyway, which makes things a lot easier. Hopefully things will continue to go smoothly and it will come together soon.  I'll keep you updated! 

I'll leave you with a non-bathroom picture.  Am I a great painter or what?  Yes, I realize this looks fairly awful--I just wanted to trim out a bit to see what the color would do in the living room.  I'm already loving the color!  What a change!

Special Shout-Out:  Mom Fitzgerald...you ROCK!  Thanks for the sweat and stinky smells you had to endure to give us a beautiful white tub!  All of our future house guests thank you too!  Love you, Mom. :)



Sunday, May 23, 2010

Flea Market Find...

Yesterday Duncan and I ventured to the flea market to get out of the house.  Andy was busy mowing the yard, and Duncan needed to "blow the stink off" as I often tell him.  So, as usual, Duncan sat in the backseat of the car while I played chauffeur.  As we pulled up to the ladies who were taking money at the entrance of the flea market, I rolled down my window to pay.  The next thing I know, I hear the back window roll down right behind me and a furry head pop out of the window.  I guess Duncan wanted to also greet the flea market workers.  Who knew he could figure out the window button???  Needless to say, the ladies got a BIG kick out of him.

I love taking dogs to the flea market because you are automatically very popular.  Everyone wants to pet your dog, ask what breed he/she is, etc.  Duncan was on his best and did not use the restroom on any items for sale, thank goodness.  He did have a fit when he saw the garden statues--specifically, the dog statues.  I literally had to yank him off of a Cocker Spaniel statue.  The man who ran that stand found it to be very entertaining. 

After browsing around for a short while, I could tell my furry friend was wearing thin.  I worried about his paws on the hot pavement, so I decided to take him to one more stand before we left (it was in a covered area).  I, of course, have a bit of an oil painting fetish, so I wanted to check in and see if there were any that I just had to have.  I picked Duncan up at this point and carried him under my arm.  I was a little afraid that my luck was running thin and he would hike a leg on an oil painting (that I would have to then purchase).  So, imagine me holding Duncan in one arm, my purse on the other arm, trying to search through paintings.  However, as usual, I pushed through the pain and found one that I loved.  This particular size was on sale and I got a really good deal on the frame.  So naturally, I had to have it!  What I didn't consider was how I was going to walk all the way back to the car with the framed painting and Duncan on the leash...ROUGH!  We took a break halfway to the car and I gave Duncan some bottled water while I called Andy with the news.  I'm sure he has come to dread those phone calls when he knows I am out and about with my purse. :)  He too was impressed with the reasonable price, so I knew I was okay. Duncan and I finally made it to the car and I blasted him with some air conditioning until he fell asleep in the backseat.  He is such a trooper!

Here is the painting you've been hearing so much about...
I just loved the colors in it--very bright and happy.  Loved it! 

This will probably go on one of the many empty walls in the living room.  If you remember, we have a bit of a yellow thing going in there anyway.  On that note, I am ready to don my trusty paintbrush again in the living room.  I am officially going to attack the "blahsville" theme that we have going with our paint.  The current color is Lincoln Home Beige (a well know and trusted neutral color by Porter); however, it absolutely does NOT work in this room.  We have only one window to light this large room, and so this neutral goes completely yuck (for lack of a better word) in this room.  Therefore, I am doing my usual and adding a bolder color to the walls.  I wanted a greeny-brown for this room to go with the reds and yellows I've already been adding.  After months of staring at paint swatches and a sample quart of paint later, we have chosen our color!  We are using Artifact by Sherwin Williams.  It is a step lighter than their Mossy Gold, which is obviously a greeny-brown (judging by the name).  Below are pictures of the room as it is now.  These are taken mid-day, so you can see how little light we ever get in this room.  Hopefully you will agree that we needed a bolder color on the walls!


As you can see, the color itself is not bad.  We have it in another room of the house and it works well.  I just need a little more "oomph" out of these walls. :)

The other corner of the room--still needs a little something, huh?  I am also hoping that the fireplace and the crown molding pop a bit more with a darker color on the walls.  We shall see!


The new paint!!!  I know what you may be thinking...that color looks very similar to what you have!  It really doesn't...the picture dulls it out a bit.  I think I may have made a decent choice with a paint color--woohoo!

I'll try to post pictures as I go.  It is a HUGE room compared to what I have painted so far--so it may be a while until the room is complete.  I can't wait to see the room transform!  My, what a little paint can do...

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Notes from the neglectful blogger...


I was told by both my mom and husband that I needed to get on the ball with my blogging.  One might think that I naturally had TONS of time to blog now that I have finished with graduate school.  Not this week!  First, a shout-out to all of the teachers out there!  The last couple of weeks of school are absolute madness.  Report cards, reading assessments, cumulative records, and closing out your classroom are all parts of the last days of school.  Not to mention, you also have to teach/entertain your kiddos who are SO ready to be done for summer!  It has been a long week, and it certainly didn't help that I came home to an empty house (other than Duncan) all week. Andy was enjoying the city of Tampa on an audit all week, so it got a little lonely here at the house.  We survived, but I guess I never really felt much like blogging. :)

On another note, my parents came up to help us get started on the guest bath remodel.  This bathroom has been quite the eyesore lately, and you will soon see why.  The bath had to be fixed at some point, so we decided to start now.  I cannot wait to see it begin to transform.  This has been the area of the house that we usually try to ignore (look below to see why), and the area that we feel the need to explain away when people visit.  Here is a picture and a run-down of the issues we need to tackle:


I know what you may be thinking--was your bathroom affected by the flood?  Well, there was a bit of a flood (leak) while the house was a bachelor pad, and the linoleum had to be ripped up because of it--nice, huh?  We know!  So, yes, the first order of business is to tile the bathroom floor.  My mom and I have already stained and sealed the cabinets and added new knobs; however, we are looking to possibly replace the vanity top and the faucet.  We have a large, glued on mirror over the vanity that I am hoping to tear out and replace with a nice framed mirror.  We also plan to change out the lighting (I will show you what that looks like eventually) over the vanity.  As you can see, we have already painted and added new hardware for the towel holder and toilet paper holder.  But the most pressing issue?  Drumroll please...


A lovely plugged hole in the tub!!!  Oh, you think this is gross?  You should have seen it with all of the "boy funk" all over the shower as well!  So, my parents ordered a product called "Tubby" to solve the problem. 
This is the hole after all of the taping and gluey gunk had been pulled off of it.  The next step in the process involved scrubbing down the entire tub with an abrasive scrub.  Then, the entire tub was wet-sanded to remove the shine on the tub.  Then, my mom used a product called Bondo (don't you love that name?) to plug the hole.  That product has to set over a couple of days to ensure that it has plugged the hole.  I believe the next step is to sand the "Bondoed" part of the tub, and then the painting process begins.  Yes, Tubby is used to repaint and refinish a tub unit.  We are going to make this off-white tub white.  We are also hoping that it will help to mask the plugged hole.  We shall see!
The Tubby stuff...

I will try to upload more detailed pictures of the bath to show what we are really dealing with, but we'll get to that as we go.  The "before and after" shots are my favorites.  Hopefully we won't get in over our heads with this bath re-do!  We definitely have our work cut out for us. :)

On another note, Andy reminded me yesterday that we had reached the six month point in our marriage!  It has truly flown by, and we have already learned a lot about each other.  We have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly in our time together already!  Duncan wanted to celebrate with us, so he decided to spice things up with my cinnamon gum yesterday morning while I was in the shower.  Will I ever learn to put my purse up high while I am away from him?
Gross, I know.  You didn't have to clean it up!

This is what he does when you yell at him.  He lays down and acts really sorry.  Of course, you feel bad for him and pet him, fully realizing that he will tear into your gum the next time he gets the chance. :)  I truly believe we may have a bad dog.  But we love him anyway!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Home PROJECTS!!!

So, I am finally ready to post the many home pictures that I have been collecting.  To get ready for the graduation party at our house, I made sure to get a few last minute projects done.  Here are a few of the project before and afters...

Project #1:  Front Porch Urns



What you need:  Good, cheap urns (JoAnn Fabric had their urns 50% off--thus, two for the price of one), a good helper/supervisor (Duncan), and a can of Rust-Oleum spray paint (I needed black).


The urns that I purchased...before I sprayed them to make them blacker...

'
The urn on the left has one coat of black...you can already see the difference...

The finished product plus the ferns that my mom brought us for the graduation party.  I was really pleased with the final product!  By the way, these are Kimberly Queen ferns, not Boston ferns.  According to my mom, these are the best to have on your front porch. :)

Project #2:  Painted Desk Chair

The "before" picture of the desk chair.  This was a desk and chair that I had gotten from my parents for a birthday in the past.  It was bought at a local antique shop in Tullahoma--I absolutely love the design of the desk and chair--so dainty!  However, the desk chair was a bit "blah" and needed a little something-something, if you know what I mean.:)  So, I bought MORE spray paint and some fabric to doll it up a bit...

The chair with the first coat of paint...

The spray paint that I used and the finished chair!  Isn't it just darling?  Even Andy liked the finished product!  He was a little nervous about the red spray paint...

The finished little "nook" in the kitchen!  A cutesy little spot for paying bills. :(


This is the little kitchen secret I have been keeping from our viewers.  Yes, the pictures I have taken in the past made it seem as if our kitchen was good to go!  But no, we had GAPING holes in our ceiling!  When we took down the HUGE light box in the kitchen we found these lovely holes--not good.  Therefore, we had to think of a way to mount a new light fixture while covering the holes.  Thus, we came back to the bead board that we had used for the back splash...


My dad removing the old fluorescent lights...

We had one slab of bead board left, and this is what we glued and nailed to the ceiling.  It covered the holes perfectly!

Above are the pictures of the process and finished mounting.  A much better look!
 
My dad laying the threshold that my granddad made for us.  We needed a sizable piece to connect the hardwoods in the kitchen to the carpet in the rec. room.  My granddad whipped something up for us and it worked perfectly!  If you remember, this is the same doorway that housed those lovely sliding glass doors.  When we removed them, we really tore up the molding/flooring in this doorway in the process.  After laying the new floor piece, we pieced together some molding that my parents had from their house and some pieces I had bought from Lowes.  After fresh coat of white paint, it actually came together pretty well!


As you can see, we have been quite busy lately with projects here and there.  Are we done?  Oh how we wish!  Our next to-do is the guest bath upstairs.  For those of you who have been to the house, you know we have quite a project on our hands!  With summer quickly approaching, I will soon be sporting my paint brush as well.  We still have many things we would like to fix up!  Stay tuned for more updates!

Side Note:  Yesterday was Field Day at my school.  Andy FINALLY brought Duncan for the kids to meet him.  They have been begging to meet the dog I tell them so much about.  As Andy and Duncan approached the area where we were, all of the kids swarmed him.  Poor Duncan wasn't ready for all of those grimy hands petting him!  Then, in unison, they all started chanting, "Duncan, Duncan, Duncan!"  It was HILARIOUS.  He was quite the celebrity to say the least.  Needless to say, he slept very well last night!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Master's Degree...CHECK!!!

So, after a whirlwind of events yesterday, I can officially say that I am FINISHED with graduate school. The day started very early with us leaving the house at about 7 in the morning. I had to be in Cookeville by 8:30 or so to figure out where I was supposed to stand for my 10:00 graduation. We made it by 8:45 or so and did not leave Cookeville until 1:30 or so--does that give you any indication of how ridiculously long my graduation was? Around 1,200 graduates were in attendance--needless to say, I snuck out the back after I walked across the stage (we needed to be in Nashville by 2:00 for my sister's graduation). We made it to the car, grabbed a quick lunch, and made our way to Lipscomb. We made it in time to watch most of the ceremony, and then headed home to get everything ready for the party. It was a CRAZY day! Here are some of the obligatory cap and gown pics from yesterday...


The happy couple finally finished with all of their studies!!!

Oh little brother, how you love taking pictures with me. :)

Doesn't my dad look happy? I think he enjoyed this graduation even more because he didn't have to pay for it! HAHA!

Me and mi madre--Love this lady!

Ok--Andy took this picture. I'm assuming that the white thing in the corner is his finger. :) I am the little ant towards the back with the lovely light blue collar thingy on...



Getting my diploma cover...diploma to come in the mail.

DONE!!! After this I slipped out the back. :)

I would like to note that Andy was a real trooper yesterday. He managed to video part of me walking across the stage and snapped some pictures! He is a very supportive and loving husband...thank you Mr. Bozeman!

Also, a huge thanks to my mom, dad, brother, my aunt Paula, and Granddaddy Gray and Jane. They all made the hike to Cookeville to see my graduation. It meant so much to me to have them there. Also, congrats to my sister--she is soon headed to Texas to continue her education, but she is finished with schooling for the next few months or so!

I hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend! It's back to the real world tomorrow!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Flood Relief

It is amazing how it seems so long ago that the flooding process began here in Nashville. It is hard to believe that all of the rain had not even started in Nashville at this point last week. As many of you may know, Metro teachers were asked to report back to school as of yesterday. However, once we all arrived, our administration asked us to go out into the community to help with the flood relief efforts (if we were able). So, yesterday a group of gals from Cole headed over to Disaster Relief to load boxes that were to be delivered all over middle Tennessee. We got there early to make sure that we could get on the "assembly line." Guess who managed to get stuck with loading the dried peaches she had boxed into the food boxes? ME! I just can't seem to get away from those peaches. :) It was a really good morning and we managed to load 1,300 boxes of food and supplies! WOOHOO! It is neat to think that someone's needs were met because of our time there.

Today, we decided as a group to go to a fellow teacher's home to help clean out, sort items, and tear out the drywall and flooring. I was not prepared for what we found in this area of Nashville...



Her part of the street was closed off...for obvious reasons...

A home with all of its belongings in the front yard...

This area had flooded nearly to the rooftops. Basically, every house in the area looked like this. Most everything in all of the homes was beyond repair. As you walked up, you could smell an odor that I can only assume comes with flood waters. A mixture of muddy water, rotten food, and quickly mildewing furniture makes quite an aroma. It was truly humbling to see the destruction. I have a newfound respect for my dad and all the work that he did with the Katrina cleanup. It truly is some of the dirtiest work I have ever done.

As we worked, a million thoughts entered my mind. I thought about how God truly is in control of everything--sometimes it takes a natural disaster for me to remember that. I thought about how I need to put less focus on material things. I thought about how long it will take these families to fully recover from this tragedy. I wondered what Andy and I would most want to salvage from our home in a similar situation. I thought about how ridiculously little air-time we have been given on the national stage. I thought about how tragedy can bring people together. I thought about how proud I was to say I am a Nashvillian. To say the least, today's experience was eye-opening and mentally/emotionally/physically exhausting all at the same time. Please continue to keep the flood victims in your prayers. It is so easy for us to get back into our routines and to forget. They have such a long road ahead...

I have so many pictures to post of various home projects that I have been completing in the last week or so to prepare for the big graduation party tomorrow night; however, my ongoing feelings of guilt about our home being spared from the flood waters has kept me from posting. So be looking for the updates when I feel it is more appropriate!!! Wish me luck tomorrow--I will officially walk across the stage at Tennessee Tech and hope not to fall on my face. :) I'm also hoping we pull off this par-tay tomorrow night and fool everyone into thinking that I can decorate and that I ALWAYS keep my house this clean--HAHA!

I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable weekend!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dried peaches and corn on the cob...

First, I want to start with a link to a FABULOUS article. Several friends had tagged this on Facebook and I absolutely love it. It is a tribute to our wonderful city and the people that live here. The link: http://www.section303.com/we-are-nashville-4366. Yay for Nashville!!!

Well, as many of you know, I am still out of school. I can only assume several of our buses are ruined and many of our schools are still being cleaned up. Not to mention, many of our students and faculty have been affected in a great way by the flooding. To be perfectly honest, I have been experiencing mixed feelings regarding the flooding. First, I feel very blessed that we were some of the "lucky ones" in all of the mess. Our house was, for the most part, untouched. Yet, at the same time I feel almost guilty because of this. I've watched the news and seen the destruction, and I have driven by houses that looked as if all was lost. It seems unfair that our home would be spared and others' not. Therefore, I am left to feel that I need to do something, anything, to help out.

Therefore, I talked my dad into coming with me to the Churches of Christ Disaster Relief center yesterday to load boxes that will be taken to the flood victims. I cannot adequately express the emotions that I felt as I pulled into the parking lot at the center and found it difficult to even find a spot. There were so many church vans from all over the state lined up to help. It is a very powerful thing to work shoulder-to-shoulder with other Christians to help others in need. Although a few fellow teachers I knew were also there to work, I met a lot of really neat people. This effort is just a small part of the amazing things that are being done in this city to help those in need. May God be given the glory! Oh, and to connect to the title above, my dad and I packaged dried peaches yesterday. It was kind of funny because the last time I had been to Disaster Relief was in college and I had done the same thing! Basically, the recipients can make peach pie by soaking the peaches and adding a couple of ingredients. It was a fun morning of stinky dried fruit!

On a lighter note, Andy and I had a tasty dinner last night including corn on the cob. For whatever reason, Duncan loves fruits and veggies. He is a bit of a health-nut, you might say. So when I finished my corn last night, Duncan kept staring at me. He would not take his eyes off of the cob that I had left on my plate. So, knowing it would be video-worthy, I had Andy tape Duncan eating the remainder of my corn on the cob. Please ignore my annoying voice (does anyone else feel like their voice is AWFUL when you hear it on tape?). And, yes, we did make him clean up his mess when he finished. :) Thanks for reading!!!

***Churches of Christ Disaster Relief will also be needing help on Thursday at 10:00 to load more boxes for the flood victims. If I am still out of school, I will be there! Come join the fun!!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Noah...I almost needed your ark!!!

For those of you who don't know, Andy and Erin (his sister) are on their way back to Nashville from West Tennessee. If staying up all night with only Duncan beside me watching the storms roll through wasn't nerve-wracking enough, Andy and Erin started driving back this way in all of it! Duncan and I have been pacing all day. :) They were stuck in Dickson for a long while, but apparently found another way around to get home. So, for a moment I thought I might need to call up good ole' Noah to borrow his boat to go get them, but it sounds like I may not have to. If you read this, please say a short prayer for their safety. It is not a good day to be on the roads...
My thoughts and prayers go out to all of those affected in a large way by all of the flooding. :) May all of this rain pass quickly...