Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Embracing the Ugly

So the other day one of my kiddos asked me how long I was trying to grow my chin hair.  I gave that one the most chores that day.  I'd like to lie and say that the chin hair has only recently shown up just to further drive home how much closer I'm getting to middle agedness. (is that even a word?)  The cold hard truth, however, is that baby started rearing its ugly head when I was 22, and pregnant with my second kiddo.  I deluded myself into thinking it was a pregnancy thing, and would miraculously go away when I had the baby.  Just like all that weight I gained.  Yet here I am, 13 years later, and the hair has persisted.  I find it to be super uncool.

So one thing I do (sometimes) when I get a new piece is let it chill in the room I want it to go in.  So I can firm up my mind on exactly how I want to refinish it.  That was the case with these two sweet chairs I got several years ago on Craigslist.   

(Cue interesting backstory...)

So we had just finished our remodel of the interior of our home in East Texas, and were in need of furnishing a family room.  Well I have a love for french provincial pieces.  Which were evidenced by the french provincial end tables that were proudly sitting in our formal living area.

This is an old picture (i.e. our old house), but the only one I could find of the tables in question.  Sure they are just sitting in the other room, but I'm feeling lazy.

  I loved them so very much that when I saw tables similar to them on craigslist I jumped on them.  I emailed, and negotiated a lower price.  Then I showed them to Señor Hotness...he was not in love.  He didn't want to get them because they were so similar to the tables we already had.  So with a heavy heart I had to message the lady back, and let her know that now wasn't going to be the best time to get them.  That was when she told me that if I would come down I could just have them...say WHAT?!? How? Why?  It all came down to my email signature, it says, "Sarah...mommy to 5 ladies".  You see she was a mom of 5 too, and was just paying it forward.  So I head on down with a friend, incase this lady was actually an axe wielding lunatic at least I would get to spend my last moments with a friend.  However, when we got there the lady was, in fact, just an empty nester, and not an axe wielding crazy person.  She was just getting ready to embark on a new personal adventure, and she really was just purging her home.  So I walk in for my tables when she says, "If you want any of this other stuff its yours for the taking".  Ladies and gents this is the stuff of legends.  I have dreams that people will say this to me again (it did happen again recently but that is a tale for another day).  Just giving free stuff to a cheapskate DIYer?  Yes, Please!  So when I regained consciousness (kidding) I saw sitting there next to the tables were two of the most elegantly boned chairs that were upholstered in this golden vinyl.  The vinyl was in tip top shape, however, the golden was in fact harvest gold.  The love affair of every 1970s decorator known to man.  So I brought them on home thinking Señor Hotness was going to flip, but that they would be good chairs to cut my teeth on trying to reupholster.  To my surprise he instantly saw their potential, and let me put them in our formal living room.  There they stayed always having their rehab put off in lieu of something deemed more pressing at the time.  Until that moment when I realized that they worked just as they were.  Not in a "They work because I said so" kind of way, but more in a "Wow, I never would have thought that would work, but it does" kind of way.

So I took a gamble on a couple of supposed duds, and have been reaping the rewards ever since.  All because I learned to embrace the ugly...just like my chin hair.  (Just kidding I still super hate that.)

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Friday, June 2, 2017

We Are Here...A Cautionary Tale

Fun Fact, surprisingly enough "here" isn't Cincinnati.  It's actually in the Dayton area.  When we were looking, we kept expanding our search further and further north, looking for just the right bit of suburbia, and before we knew it we weren't in Cincinnati at all.  Also Dayton ROCKS!  I'm in love, but I will freely admit that I may or may not change my mind come wintertime. 

Our move here was crazy.  We packed up the truck with the help of our church family on a freakishly humid day.  Needless to say we were all super sweaty and super gross, and me, being the queen of preparedness, had clean clothes out for everyone for our two day trek north to Ohio.  The one thing I didn't remember to leave out, however, was a clean bra.  So after we got to the hotel the first night I showered, and then only had the same smelly bra to put girls back in.  It was a tortuous two days of marinating in my own stench.  So, after dealing with that like a boss for two days the first thing I did upon unlocking the door to our new house was remove that smelly bit of nasty, and fling it across the family room floor while singing the chorus to "Think" (by Aretha Franklin).  It felt almost as good as being in our new house.  Then we set about exploring the house, and having roly-poly races across the family room floor before we tried to tackle the moving truck.  I was upstairs in the master bedroom when the unthinkable happens.  I hear the door bell (yup, we live in one of those wonderful neighborhoods where the neighbors are all incredibly nice and come to meet the new family), and it occurs to me, my nasty bra is laying very prominently displayed in the  barren family room floor.  Which is, coincidentally, fully visible from the front entryway.  So, I sheepishly and carefully came down to meet the new neighbors.  All the while they were visiting I valiantly pretended like it wasn't in full view there, and that I was totally wearing a bra, and they graciously pretended not to notice.  Meanwhile, I felt like imploding in on myself like a dying star because embarrassment can do that to a person.

However, after a first impression like that there really is no where to go but up.  
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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Things I Like About Cincinnati, Ohio...

 So, Ohio is cool right?  I mean how can you not love these barns...We hung out there some this summer, and it was pretty rad.  So get ready for a list of randomness...

Things I Like About Cincinnati:

1. Skyline Chili.  Okay folks I had heard stories about this for forever, but I had my doubts as to its tastiness.  That being was totally legit.

Pro: They are all over the greater Cincinnati area (as far as I can tell)
Con:  The gassy aftermath could possibly be weaponized into a Weapon of Mass Destruction.

2. IKEA.  Does this really need to be elaborated on?  I mean Ikea's are few and far between as it is, and they got lucky enough to have one in their own back yard.

Pro:  You can have all the swedish meatballs, and discount furniture you want.
Con:  I'll get back to you when I think of one.

3. Great Wolf Lodge.  They have one there.  A few years back we, along with some good friends, went with our kids (to the one in Grapevine TX), and it was surprisingly fun for the whole family.  Memories were made then, and they are all still talking about how cool it was.

Pro:  Its the perfect destination for a stay-cation.
Con: It requires that I wear a bathing suit.

4.  The Reds & The Bengals.  I'm not necessarily an insane fan of The Reds or the Bengals, but there isn't anything as cool as attending live sporting events.  I'm not sure what other pro sports teams they have, but these are the only ones that I would enjoy watching anyway.  Random fun fact.  I did check to see if they have an NBA team in Cincinnati, and they did have one, the Cincinnati Royals, from the late 1950s to the early 1970s.  The franchise briefly moved to Kansas City, as the Kansas City Kings, before eventually moving to Sacramento.  Long story short the Sacramento Kings use to be in Cincinnati back in the day.

Pro: Professional games are super fun to attend...particularly baseball. In my opinion.
Con: While I do enjoy a good sporting event I also HATE crowds.  So, this one may not happen terribly often.

5. The Shellys.  As of the end of May the greater Cincinnati/Dayton area will have, at least, 7 more awesome residents.  I know, I know.  You've heard this song and dance before right, but this time its legit.  Right around Christmas time I decided to test the waters, and listed our home on Zillow, and that was it.  I didn't put a sign in the yard.  I didn't share it on Facebook, or ask my friends to spread the word.  In fact, we didn't tell anyone.  We didn't know if it was even going to garner interest.  We had had some realtors contact us wanting us to relist our home with them.  We even had one that approached us with a couple that wanted to see it.  Long story short, in 41 days our house was under contract, and the best part was they didn't want to close until after school ended because they are wanting to let their own children finish out their school year.  Which was perfect because we were hoping the same.

Pros: A new adventure for our family, we have a few months to say goodbye to our friends here, and I get to initiate another purge of things accumulated.  The purge is truly one my favorite things about moving.   That and being able to tell my girls that that garbage they were attached to "must have gotten lost in the move".
Cons: Actually having to pack my things into boxes.  Being patient over the next few months while my kiddos enjoy their extended time with friends.  I'm more of a "lets rip the bandaid off" sort of girl.  I like to get the inevitable over with quickly, and not having to prolong it out.  I can suck it up for my ladies though.

Our move to Ohio will signify the first time our family has lived in a state that is not on the southern most border of the United States.  Our girls are super hyped about the prospect of snow.  I give that all of a week to get old.  But...right now they are excited about the unknown, and sorrowful to be leaving behind so many friends.  Thank heavens for modern technology, and their ability to communicate with them from far away.

So here's to enjoying our last few months with friends, and preparing for our exciting move further north.

UPDATE: The house we ended up buying is actually in Dayton.  So I hope to wax poetic about Dayton in the future.

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