Sunday, November 27, 2011

Phase Two Done!

After I finished the dots and circles on the accent wall in the nursery, I started work on the orange stripe that goes along the middle of all of the rest of the walls.  I had to get the help of a laser level, but I think it turned out well.  See for yourself:

  Accent wall and stripe on wall that leads to windows

Ignore the mess!  Stripe on wall opposite the accent wall

Entryway of the nursery

I love the way it all turned out, and I think it's a fun and vibrant design.  I like that it's not too much of a newborn design, and also that it's not too masculine, so that hopefully it can grow with our child, or be used for our next one.  I also recently bought this bath rug from Target.  Works perfectly in the room!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Can't Be Thankful Enough

It's nice to have a day come along that reminds me how much I have to be thankful for. What started out as a rough year has blossomed into one I wouldn't trade. I'll forever be grateful for the love and support I received at my lowest point, and the strength and courage I gained through it. Today, I place my hand on my stomach and feel the kicks and movements of the life I've created with my husband. I couldn't be happier.

Today, I think about the sacrifices and choices my parents made so I could grow up the way I did. I think about the example they set for me and the unconditional love they've shown. I think about my mom's willingness to drop whatever she's doing to help me if I ask, and my dad's warm hugs and friendly phone calls when he thinks of something he knows I'd like to hear.

Today, I think about the family I've gained through marriage, and the open arms they've welcomed me with. I think about all the nice things they do, and the warmth and love I feel when I see them. They treat me like I've been around since birth, and I'm grateful they love me like their own blood.

Today, I think about my good fortune to have two older sisters who look out for me and celebrate my successes with me. They're there for me when I need them, and they make this journey through life much more enjoyable. I'm grateful I can go to them with my frustrations and my joys, and they welcome both because they love me.

Today, I think about my friends who I'm so proud to surround myself with. While some I talk to more often than others, I'm grateful there are so many that wouldn't hesitate to step up in a time of need. My friends are a diverse group of people, and each one brings something special to my life.

Today, I think about the man who stands beside me, and holds me up when I need him to. I think about the years we've spent together and wish for a million more like them. He supports my dreams and makes them his own. I'm so thankful that his generosity, open mind, humor, and level-headedness have rubbed off on me, and I'm a better person today than before I met him. I'm grateful for the example he's going to set for our son, and I hope our son grows up to be just like his daddy.

I can never really be thankful enough, but I'm trying my best.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Audi R8 Private Drive Event

I used to own an Audi, so I'm on their email distribution list.  I received an invitation from them to attend a Private Drive Event for their R8 at the Joule Hotel in Downtown Dallas.  Their R8, if you don't know, is their supercar that starts at $115K and can get up to $200K depending on what options you got.  Obviously there's no way in heck we'd be able to buy one of these cars in our lifetime, but we figured it would still be fun to attend the event and get the chance to drive one!  The experience turned out to be even cooler than we expected it to be.  We arrived at the Joule and they offered us drinks and snacks and we sat through a 15 minute orientation about the car.  They told us what kinds of features it had, and then relayed how the drive event would go down.  There were 8 people driving in our session, and then each person was allowed a guest.  The driver and guest would be the only ones in the R8, and all 8 pairs of us went out on our drives at the same time.  A professional driver would be in a "lead" car at the front of the pack and another pro would be in a "chase" car in the back, just to make sure everyone was okay and that we all stayed in the same general vicinity.  They let us go on the highway for a while, and then on some winding roads.  In total, the driving time was about 40 minutes.  It was awesome!  We could've switched half-way through and I could've driven, but I was way too terrified to get behind the wheel of a car that expensive, so Meezy got double driving time. 

We were surprised at how they just set us all loose behind the wheel of these cars.  We weren't on some secluded track, away from other drivers and the elements.  We were right on I-35 in Dallas, amidst traffic at times, and even as it started raining.  They had put walkie-talkies in each car so the professional drivers could stay in contact with us and let us know where we'd be heading next.  Other than that, Meezy was pretty much free to drive how he wanted!  It was really cool.  I'm sure it looked a little odd to other drivers and people on the street to see 8 Audi R8s driving next to each other!  Here's some pics of the experience, and a couple videos for a little taste of what it was like to be a passenger.

Aren't we special?

It had our name on the dash

The one Meezy got to drive

A few of the other ones

Baby Dutch made an appearance

What? Pregnant chicks don't make good car models?

On the highway alongside another R8

It was an R-tronic drive

All the fancy gadgets

Yep, it's a V10

Not your normal view on I-35

This was the group of us leaving the Hotel.  The voice you hear is one of the professional drivers over the walkie-talkie:


And us getting on the highway.  Man, I love the sound of that engine!



Sunday, November 20, 2011

Boots are Back!

I'm usually not a big fan of cold weather, but I do enjoy being able to wear sweaters and boots.  I went through my boots recently and realized that they all have pretty high heels and that's not so great for a nearly 7 months along pregnant lady.  Time to shop around for some new pairs with low or wedge heels!  I didn't want to spend much, though, since I know I'll be back to the ones with heels after this pregnancy is over.  I looked at Kohl's and didn't have much luck, so I stopped by Payless to see what I could.  Jackpot!  They were having a BOGO 1/2 off sale, so I was able to pick up two pairs for under $100.  This pair was Brash brand:

  Zippy Riding Boot - $59.99

And this one was American Eagle:
Nola Cozy Wedge - $49.99

I wore the brown riding boots today, and they were very comfortable.  They look good over jeans, and I'll probably also pair them with some of my brown/cream sweater dresses and leggings.  Bring on the cold!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Good Lesson

I came across this quote today:

"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned."

Buddha speaks the truth.

Update on the Doggles

After posting on various sites that we needed to find a home for Juneau, we got a couple of responses.  We looked into them, but we decided they wouldn't be ideal situations for various reasons (no doggy door access, person gone all day, other dogs would be around, etc).  I started to feel hopeless, like we'd never find the perfect home for her, and we'd either have to suffer through always keeping our dogs separate, or turning her over to a shelter.  Neither one of those seemed like viable options, so we went back to the drawing board.  Previously we had sent Juneau to K-9 University and had been very happy with the results.  She came back much more receptive to discipline, less anxious, and less aggressive.  She had learned how to sit, stay, lay down, heel, and was much better at ignoring other dogs when we took her out on walks.  In the past if she had gotten on the bed or couch and I wanted her to move, she would ignore my verbal commands, and snap or growl at me if I tried to physically move her.  Now, she listens when we tell her to get down, and she wants to please us.

Her relationship with our other female dog, Casey, has always been a little strained, but things were copacetic after she got back from training.  Nothing changed on Casey's end, but I think Juneau had gotten a little better at ignoring her.  Unfortunately she got to a breaking point last month, and that's why a fight occurred.  We felt like we had to remove Juneau from our home, but after further thought, we realized that Casey needed help too.  She was always the one instigating fights with Juneau and trying to get under her skin.  We could tell that she felt like she was in charge of Juneau, and would attempt to control and/or reprimand her actions.  We figured part of that was because she wasn't fixed, and Juneau was another female, and part was related to her lack of training/discipline.  So, we bit the bullet and sent Casey off to K-9 University last week.  We knew they had worked wonders with Juneau, and we are hoping for the same results with Casey.  It's not cheap to have your dog boarded/trained for 2 weeks, but it'll be worth it if it works.  The trainers at K-9 are awesome, and they even allowed us to send Juneau up there to get her training refreshed, and to keep her near Casey in a safer environment.  I checked in on the doggles yesterday, and they told me there has already been an improvement in their relationship.  Casey is starting to pick up the training commands, and they've worked them around each other with no fighting.  I really, really hope they finish the program with a different outlook, and can put the past behind them.  This is our last ditch effort to keep all of our dogs, and I don't know what I'll do if it doesn't work.  The big test starts next week when we pick them up and have three dogs under the same roof again.

On a lighter note, it's been funny to see how our male, Riley, acts differently when he's the only one in the house.  Normally during feeding time, he scarfs down his bowl as if it's a race.  Sometimes he'll go so fast that he can't catch his breath, and yet he continues to eat.  If we give rawhides to all the dogs, he'll run in the other room and try to eat his as soon as possible, and then usually ends up going over to Casey to steal hers too.  Now that he's solo, he calmly eats his dinner and takes his time.  When I give him a rawhide, he takes it into the backyard and buries it for later consumption.  It's hilarious.  So much of his previous behavior was influenced by the other dogs being around, and now he's pretty care-free!  Sorry, bubba, those other doggles are coming back soon, so you better start digging up those rawhides and eating them!                 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I Didn't Forget About Fashion!

While my "comfortable" attire days seem to outnumber my "fashionable" attire days lately, I still try to be on the lookout for cute maternity clothes.  There aren't a ton of maternity stores to shop at, so I tend to branch out and find clothes that aren't maternity, but will still work for a girl with a growing tummy.  I stopped by Kohl's the other day with the purpose of just picking up some yoga/wind pants to wear around the house.  I found these for $18:


They're super comfy and long enough for me, so I snagged two pairs.  I have a feeling I'll be getting a lot of use out of them, especially as I get further along, and then right after baby comes.  On the way to the checkout, I passed by the Junior's section and some cute items caught my eye.  Some of the styles of tops tend to be really long these days, which works perfectly for a pregnant girl!  If I just shop for sizes a couple steps up from my normal one, I can usually find something that works.  As it starts to get colder, I know I'll want to be wearing something warm but low-maintenance.  Insert this adorable striped hooded tunic:

 
I loved the fit, and it was still long enough after accounting for a protruding belly.  At only $22 each, I figured I could justify a second one!


These all fall more into the comfortable category, though, so I searched around for something I could feel cute wearing.  I found this belted sweater for $30:

 
Just imagine the belt resting a little higher than the picture shows!  I'm not sure if it'll still be long enough to wear over thin leggings after first stretching over my belly, but it will definitely look good with jeans.  Yay for finding a few things that I'll actually feel good about putting on, even as that number on the scale keeps growing! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Phase One Done!

I finished the accent wall in the nursery, and I'm pretty proud of it!


I can be pretty determined once I set my mind to something, so it didn't take me too long to get it completed.  The next step in the painting scheme might actually be harder than the accent wall since I need to use a laser level to draw the top and bottom lines for the orange stripe, and the walls it's going to go on have lots of interruptions- closet doors, windows, etc.  It won't be one continuous stripe around the room.  Oh well!  Who doesn't love a challenge? 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Painting Update

I mentioned previously that this design was the inspiration for the nursery:


I love the whimsical dots and circles, and it features my two favorite colors - green and orange.  The window valances, a couple pieces of the bedding, and a few other decorations around the room will be this design, so I decided to use it in my paint scheme too.  Talk about hard work!  It's been time-consuming, but I'm loving the results!  I chose one accent wall to incorporate the dots and circles, and the other three walls will just have a bold orange stripe around the middle.  Here's a couple close-ups of what a completed section of the accent wall looks like:



And then here's where you can see what I've done in total, and how much I still have left to do:


I've just been working on it at night, and the stenciling took a few different sessions.  I started the painting two nights ago, and probably spent 2.5 hours each night on it.  I know it doesn't seem like much progress for that amount of time, but there are quite a lot of things to paint, and they're very small!  Overall, I think all the effort will be worth it because I love the colors and the design, and how unique it is!