Monday, December 19, 2011

Home Improvements Part 2

Landscaping! When we bought our house, it definitely was not for the lot that it came on. We have a huge hill in the back, drainage for many of the houses around us that comes down the side of the hill, and steep parts of the yard all over. So, we wanted to add more planting areas for me and less grass on steep parts for Jesse, so we decided to put in a retaining wall bed and mulch beds on the side of the house. We are leaving the back alone until we can get a porch screened in off the house. We waited until December to do this with the company we use so we could get the winter price. Thankfully, we were able to pick out our stone back in the spring before Jesse left town so that made it a lot easier when they needed to start. We wanted to establish the mulch beds before planting new shrubs and flowers this spring. They also regraded a few areas and reseeded to make the yard more even. Here are some pictures of our new retaining wall and mulch beds:
This last picture shows where they did the mulch bed on the side of the house and some regrading right below it. Also, we will be putting in 2 red crape myrtles where the beds come out to add color and heighth to our side of the house visible to the street. We are just doing what we can, as we can afford it! :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Home Improvements Part 1

Over the past few months, we have done some upgrades on our house that we have saved up to do for a while. They are things that we hope will bring more value to our home, but also make it look a lot better. First, we got rid of the laminate flooring in the bathrooms and tiled the floors. Next, we added an accent piece around the master bath tub and tiled out our shower to replace the cheap one that came with the house. We added some custom choices to make it more funtional for us, but I'm sure many other people will think the same. The project took a little longer than we expected, but we wanted it done right. Here are some pictures of the master bath before:

Here is the master bath after:

Thanksgiving 2011

This year, Thanksgiving was the holiday we had to spend with my brother and his little family. So, we all decided to spend our holiday in Macon, GA with my dad's extended family. Mom flew up to help me with Ellie while I taught before the break and then we headed out (in HORRIBLE weather) down to Macon to meet up with Dad, Jonathan, Jennifer and Baby Langston for dinner. We ended up at a mexican place across from the hotel. We then headed back to the hotel and got settled for the night.

On Tuesday, we had a lazy morning at the hotel and then I took Ellie over to my Grandparent's old house with Dad and Jonathan. After touring the house, Ellie found a few prize possessions - my Mama's wig and the tea set we played with as kids. It was probably the last time I will ever go there. Afterwards, we met up at Fresh Air BBQ for lunch with everyone. This is a place that we have eaten at for many years. Ellie was happy to see Baby Langston! We went by one of the outdoor malls in the area and then returned to the hotels for nap times. We capped the day off with a not suprisingly amazing meal at S&S Cafeteria - family favorite! We used to eat there every time we came to visit Mama and Papa Hardwick and I'm pretty sure they went every week. Jonathan's room was the only one with a tub in it, so we ended up bathing the girls together in it and got some great "cousin" pictures!

On Thanksgiving day, we spent the morning hanging out in the hotel and playing together. I even got Ellie a short nap before heading over to Hugh & Bobbie Jo's house (Dad's 2nd cousin and our caterer from our wedding). The house was packed with extended family! One guest we were thrilled to see was Great Aunt Barbara (she was married to my Papa's brother and is Bobbie Jo's mom). She was like a 2nd grandmother to us. This was her first time meeting Langston and 2nd time seeing Ellie. Always great to see her. Our cousin, Ashley, was there with her husband and 2 boys, one of them being Ellie's age so she had a little friend to run around with. We got some great family pictures that day and some quality time with family we don't see very often. The food was AMAZING (of course) and we were so happy to have gone. Once we returned to the hotel, we spent time together in one of the rooms and had a great time visiting.

On Friday morning, we met up at Cracker Barrell for breakfast and then all got on the road to return home. Jonathan, Jennifer and Langston stopped by our house for a break from the drive so Baby Langston could stretch out and play some. What made me so happy from this trip was that Ellie really learned the names of my family. She doesn't see them very often so when we do get together, it's usually for bulk amounts of time. It was great just hearing her want to go see "Baby", "Yar", "DenDen", "Mimi" or "Pa" and just hang out around them. She is still asking about them! Overall, it was a great visit and a nice break from the normal week for me and my baby girl. Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

23 Months Old

Wow - it seems crazy that this will be my last monthly post since Ellie turns 2 next month. I can't believe it. I think for this one I'm going to mainly post pictures since I have so many videos of her up in previous posts. Here she is!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

More Videos for Daddy

Singing "Row Row Row Your Boat"

Singing Daddy's Favorite "My Little Buttercup"

Watching Aunt Jamie's video of Daddy before he left (happens EVERY time Aunt Jamie comes over to visit) and also hijacking Aunt Jamie's water bottle

Ellie dancing with her best friend, Kinsley, in her room

Ellie playing blocks at her favorite table before church

Mimi teaching Ellie a new riddle (by the end she is getting it already)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Videos for Daddy

Ellie showing off her "tap" skills to "Tea for Two"

Playing on her new table and chairs

Trick-Or-Treat 2011

This was the first year that Ellie could actually walk around the neighborhood and do some trick-or-treating so we invited Ellie's best friend, Kinsley, and her parents (Chris & Julie) over for an early dinner and then trick-or-treating. The girls have so much fun together when they play, plus it was motivation for them to walk around together and do the same thing. Our subdivision attracts a lot of people each year so it was quite busy!

Taking a short candy break with Kinsley

Video for Daddy to see Ellie Trick-or-Treating

Trick-or-Treating at the Mulligan's (Small Group Neighbors)

Waiting for more kids to come by

Handing out treats to other kids (she loved this part)

Ellie's Happy Halloween to Daddy

Saturday, October 29, 2011

SR Cragwall Annual Halloween Party

Every year, Jesse's parents throw a family Halloween party so they can see the kids dressed up and give them little treats. Plus, it's a great excuse to get us all together. Karen (Jesse's mom) does a great job finding things for the kids that excite them. Ellie was able to enjoy it a little more this year since she's older and can eat more of the stuff. One of the hits that Karen got was a bubble kit that makes HUGE bubbles...they all 3 enjoyed that one. For dinner, we had a pot of chili with the fixin's and for dessert, brownies and ice cream. Karen also had some cider going for everyone which was yummy. Here are some pictures from the fun evening and a message for Jesse from his family at the end.

A Halloween Message for Jesse:


Lilypie Third Birthday tickers