Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A little road trip and little green soldiers!

Hey Ya'all!
We have been road trippen it! All the way to Ely, Minnesota, to visit my dear grandparents.
Matthew, Benjamin (my brother) and myself all went last year and had a great time visiting and sight seeing. I knew I wanted to go again, and bring Patrick along for the fun.
It is a 12 hour drive, which may sound horrible, but honestly I love road trips. I am really lucky to have a son that doesn't mind them either. I always talk up the place so much, the car ride doesn't even bother him, besides I can handle a few "why is it so far away?" We left at 5am on Wednesday and arrived around 4:30 in the afternoon.
My grandparents have a beautiful house on a lake. Last year, we couldn't of asked for better weather. This year it was hit or miss, but we still had fun.
We went hiking, shopping, sight seeing and mostly a really relaxing time. My grandparents always make awesome food for us and then fill us so full you can't help but pass out after the meal.
We did go and visit the north shore of Lake Superior, which was about 3 hours away. We had so much fun there! We went down an Alpine Slide (3 times), ski lifts, and on a Gondola ride. We then traveled to a pretty tourist-y town and ate some awesome pizza, did a little shopping and fed the ducks. All in all it was a great family vacation with my "lil" brother.
Here are a few photos documenting the trip.
I almost forget we visited the North American Bear Museum. We went last year, but Matthew really wanted to go back. It wasn't as fun this year. Last year they were roaming around in a huge area. You could see them actually playing and relaxing. However, they are redoing that big area for the bears so each bear is in its own very small enclosure.
          This year....                                                                     Last year....
Ben not too impressed.

 Matthew already tired of photos and not really interested in the bears either.

 Ski lift to the Alpine Slide.
 getting ready...


 Matthew, beyond naptime!

 back on the Gondola.

 Time for pizza at Sven & Ole's.

Feeding the ducks.

 My little boy is growing up. 
I think I may see this face a lot over the next few years.

 Being silly!
 Cheesin' it!
 After the 12 hour drive home we were greeted with a bit of a surprise!

 Green army men EVERYWHERE!

They were are still everywhere! Matthew loved it! He keeps on asking how they got there. 
He asks"did  they walk there by themselves?"

Anywho, back to the normal grind here at the Kirby household.
Thanks for stopping in and catching up!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Happy Wednesday!

I have a lot to write about! A little house updating, a little blog advertising and a little bit of fun!  We have been quite busy over the last two weeks.
I will begin with all the house updates.

We FINALLY have TWO fully functioning bathrooms in our home! Yippee!
To be completely honest we haven't had that since April 8th, the day we got the keys!
We are so excited to be able to choose which bathroom we are going to use.
Let us take a little look back to where it all began.
Yeah, it was pretty scary when we first viewed our home, but we saw so much potential in it. 
Was the wallpaper hideous? YES!
Was it scary that there was matching wallpaper on the ceiling, walls, cabinets? YES!
Was it creepy that the curtains and shower curtain matched the pattern on the wallpaper? Yes, yes, yes!
Was the floor carpet? YES!
However, it was so big! There was so much storage. So much potential!
Here was the scene on April 8th.

Brittany and Alice enjoying their demo job!

A few days weeks later. We had ripped all the carpet out and installed tile. 
We still had a long way to go.        

Next came the long and tedious process of sanding, scraping, mudding, and spackling over and over and over again. Once it was finally done it was well worth all the hard work. We had a freshly painted bathroom.
 ...and then we installed the toilet...and trim...
Then I removed all the doors and trim from the linen closet beside the shower. 

I wanted it to be a little more open.
Next came the vanity.  We probably looked at a million different bathroom vanities. We even bought one and I made Patrick return it because it just wasn't what I wanted. All the vanities I wanted were ridiculously priced. So after going quite awhile without a vanity I made up my mind to build one (meaning my husband would build me one). I still was hesitant to start building because 1) I had no idea where to begin when it came to building something and 2) I figured the wood must be pretty pricey since all those vanities online were so expensive. Then one Saturday two weeks ago I was tired of living without a vanity in the main bathroom of our house. So we headed to Menards. After spending about 3-4 hours at Menards we had all our wood and screws to at least get started. We called up some favors from friends and family asking for  tools, saws and advice and we were on our way. By the end of that night we had a pretty good frame built. All I had to do was start staining. After staining we started putting pieces together and before we knew it, we had a pretty awesome looking vanity. It's exactly what I wanted. It is the $1200 vanity I salivated over on the internet and best hubby built it for me. I love it!
We went ahead and used the same counter that was on the old vanity. It was the right size, in great condition and best of all FREE! Bringing the grand total for this vanity under $50!!! We are going to be purchasing a new faucet causing the price of the vanity to rise significantly but nothing close to $1200!
We still have a few areas that still need work. We need to frame out the mirror, purchase an above the mirror light, hang some decor and figure out what we are going to do with this ugly area.
This area is right under the bottom shelf that use to be the linen closet. We did not put tile down because at one point in time we discussed putting a laundry shoot down there. After discussing the pros and cons we decided to just tile it. When we went to Lowe's to purchase the 9 whole tiles we needed to finish the project we learned they had been discontinued. For the time being I am going to put a little curtain over it but I am hoping we can figure something else out for this area. If you have any suggestions we will gladly consider any and all.

Once we have a completed bathroom I will share many more photos.
On to some smaller updates that have taken place in our home.
You may or may not have seen this light fixture in our dining room. 
It use to look like
It now looks like this...after being spray painted with ORB (that is for you Sherry).
Yes, I along with Brittany pretend that Sherry, Brittany and I are blog BFF's!

Our master closet use to look like this (imagine closet doors, I forgot to snap a photo with the doors attached)...

It now looks like this...

I plan on painting the shelves and walls in the closet and hanging a pretty fabric instead of doors. I am sure I will post pics once the project is complete. We decided to place shelves in our closet for a number of reasons: 1) we do not have many hanging clothes, and the hanging clothes we do have can go in another closet in another room for the time being. 2) We never put our clothes in a dresser anyway. They end up all over the floor or a mess in a basket. I am great at folding laundry. I am horrible at putting the laundry away once it is folded. This way I can just put the folded piles of clothes right on the shelves. 
Genius if you ask me!
Eventually, we plan on purchasing some sort of armoire that will probably have a hanging rack in it and a few drawers. That should be enough to hold all of our hanging clothes. Something along these lines, maybe a little less fancy.
For now we love having the extra space with no dressers!
Here is a photo of Matthew's CLEAN room! 
It doesn't happen often and I thought I should snap a photo and record it before the moment is gone.

Other than bathroom remodeling and updating I have been babysitting again. I took some cute photos the last time Matthew and I were there and I thought I would share them with you.

Fighting bubbles is a hard job but someones got to do it!
I have another blog to add to the list. Last time I added Brittany's and this time I am endorsing my cousin, Kristen's blog. She has been through a lot during her short life, and unbelievably lived to tell about it, and that is exactly what she will be doing over at her blog. I am excited to hear how she has overcame the obstacles that have been placed in her way and what the future holds for her. 
Happy Wednesday everyone!