Friday, May 28, 2010

Our Master Bath Remodel is Finally DONE!



It has been a long month since we started on our master bath remodel, but the wait was definitely worth it! It turned out absolutely beautiful.

My husband worked so hard on it (working every day that he had off and before or after his shifts at work) and did all of the work himself. (Except for installing the glass on the shower.) There were a few little hiccups along the way--like the 5 gallon bucket sized hole that the original builder left under the shower pan--but he did such a great job. We estimate that by doing all the work ourselves and using the supply discount offered at my work that we saved roughly $10,000!

Here are some before and after photos of the remodel:

The old vanity, double sinks and plain large mirror.


The new tiled floor & wall, separate mirrors & lights and new pedestal sinks.



The old shower, complete with frosted glass and a cultured marble surround.


The beautiful new seamless glass enclosed, tile shower.



I am just so happy with the results. I told hubby that I think it looks like something out of a magazine! While it was hard work, it is nice to know that we saved a lot of money doing it ourselves and I think that we will appreciate it more knowing that WE did it all by ourselves!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Freedom to read

I am so glad to be done with school and I am taking advantage of my new found freedom by indulging in some “reading for fun” as opposed to the “reading to learn” that I have been practicing for the last two plus years.

I am reading anything that I can get my hands on!


I have tackled some chic lit...



Some teen vamp lit....



A little romance...



And, now I am starting to read a couple with a little more meat...



I admit it...I AM A TOTAL BOOKWORM. And I am damn proud of it!!!

As you can tell from my recent reads above, I am definitely not a picky reader. I love to read just about anything. I have a wish list about a mile long on Amazon for what I want to get next. I love getting looking at books on Amazon. There are reviews from real readers about each book and there are also recommendations on each page directing me to another book that is similar or another book that others also bought. I just love it and sometimes could spend hours on there just looking at books. (Yeah right...if I actually ever had hours to do that I am sure that I would find something else that “had” to be done instead.)

So if anyone has any good recommendations for me about what to read next, just post them below. I am always looking for something new!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

To be 3...


Wouldn't it be nice to be 3?

To have no cares in the world...


And the hardest part of your day was climbing to the top of the playground,


And then you just look around and feel like the king of the world?


Oh the joys of being 3...


Getting to go down a slide...


And down another slide...


And feeling so carefree and happy...


I sometimes wish that I could be 3 again!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Splish, Splash

Swim lessons are going well for my little fish!
His favorite thing to do is climb out and dive right back in.


Climbing out...


And diving in...


Splash!



And climbing back out...



You want me back in there?


You betcha! Splash!!!



Man does he LOVE swimming!

Coach Daddy

This past year Caleb got to play his first season of soccer. Chris and I had always known that we would have him play soccer and we were so happy to find out that Gilbert Youth Soccer offers soccer for three-year-olds.

(Sorry for the crappy photo...I had to scan it and it is pretty dark.)

Shortly after signing up we received an email from the guy heading up the U4 league that stated that he was in need of coaches or not all the kids signed up would be able to play. My hubby stepped right in (after some gently prodding from me) and signed up to coach Caleb's team. I think that Chris enjoyed playing with the kids as much as Caleb did...and sometimes even more!

Of course once you coach one season, you get it into your blood and Chris has already agreed to coach Caleb's team in the fall and some of last year's team and a few friends have already signed up and requested Chris as the coach!

So I guess it's just the start of organized sports for this family and we can already tell from Caleb's enthusiasm for all things sports related that he is going to want to play just about anything that we will let him sign up for! Good thing he gets this from his daddy, 'cause this momma is so extremely uncoordinated that it's funny! (I think that I manage to trip and get bruises on a daily basis...and I don't even know that I am doing it!)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My First Harvest

When I went out to water my little raised garden bed this evening, I noticed that I had my first tomatoes ready to harvest!

And look...right behind the first overacheivers there are more cherry tomatoes just getting ready to ripen!


My first "Big Boy" tomato is also getting ready to go onto my next salad!


And I was also glad to see these big wonderful blooms on my yellow summer squash plant...I really can't wait for these bad boys to be ready!


While there are some good things to report about my first shot at gardening in Arizona, I also had some plants that didn't make it. My peas never even came up...not a single one. And my beans all sprouted, but are just withering away. I think that I got the beans in the ground too late this year, so I will give them another try this fall after it starts to cool back down. But my basil has done well (and has went into a few meals already) and my yellow bell pepper plant is doing well and has doubled in size since planting and it is also blooming, so some peppers should start showing soon!

I am really loving this little garden...this year is a bit of an experiment to see what works and what doesn't, but I am having so much fun and that's what it's all about!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I DID IT!


So...I finally graduated! My hubby, Caleb and I drove up to Flagstaff on Friday to stay the night before my graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 8th. On the way up we had a couple of incidents of a little boy with carsickness. 'Cause as Chris and I like to joke about...it's not a Schell trip away from home without something going wrong. And this time it just smelled wrong. (And just so you know...it still does, even after airing the car out for the past few days and washing everything in sight!) The trip definitely had it's ups (graduation) and downs (vomiting and crying) but all in all it was a good trip and we definitely have some memories!

So here is our first stop just outside of Camp Verde:

Yep...that's hubby cleaning up our first vomiting experience of the day!

But he still had a smile on his face!

We then stopped just outside of Flagstaff and had to do a little cleanup again. Let's just say that the next time that Caleb tells us that his tummy hurts...you better bet that we will be listening and believe him!!!

On Saturday was the actual graduation ceremony, but first Caleb needed to see the old train on display in downtown and he and I had daddy take our photo together.

Next was graduation...here are a few shots taken after it! I am so glad that my two favorite men could be there to celebrate with me!


I am so glad to finally be done, but most of all I am thankful for all my friends and family that supported me in going back and finishing! Thank you!

Friday, May 7, 2010

My new baby!

I have a really wonderful hubby! For my graduation gift from him and Caleb, he bought me a beautiful, shiny new digital SLR camera! I am so excited, he couldn’t have picked out a better gift. I have been wanting to upgrade from my point and shoot for so, so long and have found myself perusing B&H and Amazon and reading reviews on different products. He went with the Olympus E-620. Since this is our first forte into a digital SLR, I think it’s a great place to start. I’m not looking to be a professional photographer…I just want to take really great photos of my family and friends.

A coworker gave me a beautiful bouquet of purple tulips as a graduation gift and I decided to use them as the subject of my first shots but as I was taking my first look at the camera yesterday, getting my feel of it and trying to figure out all of the buttons, I came across this photo:

Wowza...I really, really love this man! He's pretty great, isn't he?


Here are a couple of my first shots…




I can tell that I am going to have lots of fun with this graduation gift!!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Swimming Lessons


Summer is here and today is the first day of swimming lessons for my little one. He is so excited because he is a complete and total water baby. If he could, he would spend all day in the pool...at bathtime I always have to pull the plug (literally) and then drag him forcefully to get him out of there.

The real problem now is going to be that our pool isn't warm enough to swim in it, and after today he is going to want to go swimming every day and ask about it EVERY DAY, probably asking 3 times or more per day! Especially since it's starting to get hot down here...I think that it is predicted to be 99 degrees today. I talked to the hubby this morning and convinced him that need needs to put the solar cover on the pool tonight, so hopefully if the weather stays hot we can be swimming in just a couple of weeks.

(Or at least Chris and Caleb can be swimming...I don't even stick my big toe into the water until it's at least 85 degrees. I'm a big baby and I hate being cold...it's probably one of the reasons that I do so well down here in the desert, those 100 degree days never bother me!)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

College Graduate - FINALLY!!!

Tonight is my final class before I graduate from Northern Arizona University on Saturday. I am so excited and I really need the break that not going to school will give me...

My college story...

Off and on, since I graduated from high school back in 1996, I have been going to college. First I went to a local community college back in Vancouver, WA right after high school. My parents had just divorced before I graduated and I couldn’t afford to go away to college like all of my friends did. So, I stayed home and went to the local college. I went straight through for 2 years and got my associates degree. But something happened along the way...I began dating my husband. We had went to the same high school, but he was waayyy cooler and a year older than me so we had never talked in school. Then we started working in the same grocery store and had a couple of classes together and we just clicked.

After graduating with my associates, I went to Washington State University with my hubby (he was my boyfriend at that time). We moved in together and well, life took over. We were married in 2000 and I slowly transitioned from part-time to full-time at my job, while tranisitioning from full-time student to part-time. We bought a house and eventually college just slowly became an afterthought. Life got in the way. We had bills to pay and college just didn’t seem to matter anymore. So what did I do? Well, I did the stupid thing...I dropped out of college with just 24 credits left to complete. 24 credits...that’s just 8 classes.

Flash forward to 2008...I now have a 1 year old son, I work full-time, my husband works full-time and I realize that I really want to go back and finish my college career. I REALLY, REALLY want to finish what I started. I love learning and looking back, I can’t believe that I ever quit. So, I talk to an advisor at a local college (Northern Arizona University) and I started back in the fall of 2008. It was hard...very hard. There are some days that I don’t even know how I was able to find the hours in the day to make it all work. Many of my credits didn’t transfer from Washington to Arizona, so I needed more than the 24 credits that I had left when I dropped out.

Over the last two years I have taken at least 9 credits each semester, even the summer semesters, but I DID IT! I am now even graduating with a 4.0 and I am so proud of myself. It has been a long road, but worth each and every weekend and late night spent doing homework and every missed night from home. I will have a diploma that no one can take away from me...something that proves that hard work does pay off. It is also a way that I can show others that they can do it too...it takes sacrifices, but those sacrifices are just temporary. They are just short term and the payoff is so huge. If you are on the fence, just go for it! I guarantee you it’s worth it!
 
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