Tuesday, August 26, 2014

It's been a while

I haven't updated this in about a year. I finally have time to keep up with it since both kids are in school...yay! Since I last blogged, we moved...again. We sold our house after living it for only 8 months. Sam made the decision to dive right back into school and get his Nurse Practitioner certification and that meant a lot of clinical hours (unpaid). We decided the house was a money pit and my parents gave us the opportunity to move in with them. It was perfect timing too because Sam will be deploying overseas next week and it's nice to have the help with the kids while he's gone. We are in the works to have a new house built!! I'm so excited because we have never owned a new house and super excited about the fact that we can just move in and relax. No renovations, no repairs, no worries. The stressful part is that I have to be responsible for the build from start to finish since Sam will be gone. Enough house stuff. Here's what we have been up to:

We spent some time exploring some national parks.
White Sands in New Mexico

Carlsbad Caverns-New Mexico
See that hole behind me? That is the opening to the cave and we made the mistake of walking down the trail to the bottom. It was at least an hour long hike, downhill, and slippery...with 2 kids. No bueno. It was beautiful, but the elevator route is recommended. 

Sam got the opportunity to go to Costa Mesa, CA for a Yellow Ribbon tour. It is something the Reserves do for the families before and after a deployment. There are classes you have to take and the kids stay in childcare. It was a lot more fun than we expected. We were so close to Disneyland, so we took the kids. We bought a 3 day pass, but only made it 2 days. It was exhausting and hot. The kids enjoyed it though and Sammy was a roller coaster queen. We also visited nearby beaches and the kids just jumped right in. Of course I was sitting safely on dry land having a panic attack over Matt getting swept away and taking pictures.

When we got back home there was a lot of boredom and the kids fought a lot, but we had more mini adventure: catching tadpoles! Sam called us from the clinic where he's doing his hours and told us there were a ton of tadpoles and the local kids were trying to kill them. Of course we made the hour long trip to save a few. Lo and behold they turned into frogs and the kids lost interest, so we released them at a pond at a neighborhood park.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

All-Encompassing Fall Post

Since I cannot find any pictures of Samantha's 6th Birthday party anywhere (She had a great bithday, btw. We had it at the YWCA in the gymnastics room. My friend, Deana, was the coach there and she hosted a great party), I will skip ahead to a few fall pictures.

La Union, NM corn maze
I have never been through this maze during the daylight hours, so I assumed it would be a piece of cake to get through. Ha! We chose the "easy" maze and it took us over an hour to make our way out. We stuck with Sam's plan of only making left turns. I think we had ti eventually use our gut instinct to get out. The left hand turn theory did not work very well.

Sammy and Ama T choosing pumpkins

Matt with our three pumpkins

This would have made a good Christmas card family photo, but Matt was refusing to cooperate and Samantha refused to smile like a normal person.

Halloween 2013
Sammy went as a witch again this year. Of course I waited till the last minute to find a broom, so I ended up making one...again this year.

Lacy did Samantha's "magical" witch makeup.

I had already purchased Matt a robot costume, but he insisted on being a ghost. After many struggles of cutting and fitting the sheet, this is what we ended up with.
We were getting ready to walk out of the door and he made a last minute switch...back to the robot costume.

Good morning picture from the babies to their daddy...We miss him. Just a couple more weeks...

Entryway Closet Remodel

This is the most boring post ever, but I had to document our first successful home improvement project. We started out with a long hallway of closets, seriously, four coat closets in a row. Really, who needs that many closets??!! Here goes:

Sam decided to grab a sledgehammer and demolish the wall between two closets. We discovered that the beam in between was a support for the ceiling. Sam's dad stepped in and built us a header (not shown) to support the ceiling so we could rip out the studs.

Now we have an empty canvas.     

Sam built a subfloor out of 2x4s and plywood. Next is the bench area (built the same way.)
Completely forgot to document the steps in between...sorry. He framed out the bench and sbbfloor with base board molding and built some simple decorative shelves in the "nook" area.
He added a board for the base for the coat hooks. We also painted the inside of the entire space a darker color to make the white accents pop.

Voila! We are still going to add some wooden crate baskets (I found some cute ones at Hobby Lobby) and we are going to upholster a bench seat. I am going to use an old curtain. The fabric is durable and I am in love with the pattern. You can see it two pictures above this one. We laid it out just to see what it would look like.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Catch Up

All of my friends have decided to jump back into blogging, so I'll make the same effort and try to keep my blog updated. Key Word: Try.

My last post was Matt's 3rd birthday. wow.  I don't really have a lot of pictures because the last couple of months have been a whirlwind I never busted out my camera. All I have are cell phone pictures and I haven't gotten around to downloading those either.

So here goes: Beginning of June we decided to move back to El Paso. Sam got into nurse practitioner school at UTEP and we figured it would be easier to move back home for that time (a little less than 2 years) seeing as he would be in school a lot and couldn't work as much, plus having two little kids and no family around is stressful. I'll also admit that I was pushing to move back home because I missed my friends and family. Don't get me wrong I had a few great friends in San Antonio and I was finally getting to meet more people and things were right on the cusp of finally looking up, but then the opportunity to move back home presented itself and I just ran with it. Luckily, we had some friends back from our Travis AFB, CA days that were relocating to San Antonio and they were looking for a rental. Couldn't have been more perfect of a situation :)

The first week in June my parents arrived to help us pack, load up the Uhual and make the grueling 9hr drive back home. It was hard to leave our first home, but we knew we'd be returning after the schooling wrapped up...maybe. I will admit, I was sad and I miss our house so much.

 I miss this view from Sammy's bedroom window.

 I miss this backyard.

 I miss all of the fun and adventures the kids would have out there.

We lived my parents for a few months and we are so happy and thankful they took us in while we we figured out what to do next. We were debating renting or buying and since I wanted to (at the time) be back in El Paso permanently, I pushed for buying a place. I wanted something new and sam wanted something in an older, nicer neighborhood. So, of course we bought the older place and it has been a ton of work. It was built in 1962...and you can tell.

 We closed on it at the end of July and immediately started ripping it apart. Sam was pulling out carpet when we noticed some wood rot inside the house from a leak. Sam had to spend an entire day pulling out plants and digging out a planter. Who builds a planter against a house anyway??!!

 Right under the windows was where all the wood had to be replaced. Sam's dad redid it all for us and now it's as good as new.
Onto the next project:
 This sixties metal screen needed to be removed. Not only was it hideous, but Matt liked to scale it and stick his head out of the circles. No bueno.
Sam's dad cut that out too.
 Sam laid some more salitillo tile to fill in the rut that was left by the screen. The finished product came out great, but I'm too lazy to go into the computer to find the picture. Plus, the kids are screaming at me, so I'm trying to wrap this up quickly.

Next project: demolish 2 of the 4 hallway closets and turn it into a mud room...Pinterest style.

The project is pretty much finished, but once again I don't feel like finding all of the pictures. I am going to make individual posts of all the projects at a later date. 
 The current project is the main bathroom. Here is the before. Hideous. Just hideous.
Sam gutted is to the studs like the first week we owned the house. My dad helped him remove that fabulous pink tub, then it was time to start the remodel. My dad cut out a window for us and installed the new tub, plus did a ton of plumbing work. It is coming along. Again, I will post on it in detail later.

So, there you have it. We actually moved into the house at the end of August, but we have been living in a construction zone. Sammy started first grade at a new school and she loves it, I hate it, but that I've ranted enough about it to everyone and I don't feel like doing it again. I just wish she was back at her old school.
Sam is currently working full time as an ER nurse, going to school for his Masters in Nurse Education which he will complete this December. He is simultaneously taking classes for his Nurse Practitioner certification which will be completed next December. Oh and he also teaches a few nursing classes at the University. He's busy.
I just started substitute teaching, but I only do it a couple of days per week, when Sam's off. I don't have the heart or the money to put him in daycare right now. Needless to say, Sam and I rarely see each other.

 Random picture of Matt's room all  completed. Paint, new carpet and a new ceiling fan. Once I can muster enough organizational energy, I will post all of the house pictures too and I'll try to include as many before and afters as possible.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Matt's 3rd Birthday!!

It's not quite his birthday (23rd), but we had a cake for him on Saturday and he got to open his presents. I seriously cannot believe he's already 3!!
We got him a balance bike. He's not too fond of it yet. It's a about an inch too tall and the sad thing is that it's for 1 1/2 to 4 year olds. He's pretty short.

 Sammy got a little something too :)

 More presents from Mom and Dad.

 He played with this thing for 3 hours straight, no joke.

 Opening the box from Aunt Kim, Uncle David, Ryan, Ashley, Henry, Parker, Dallas, and 'lil Henry.
There was some awesome stuff in there! Thanks guys.

 He immediately wanted to put on the new outfit and he was very excited to have basketball shorts.
That backpack is pretty awesome too.

 He found a bug.

 He usually prefers to be naked, but since we were taking birthday pictures and we were outside, I talked him into putting on underwear. 

 He has been super into pirates lately, but he really wanted a Cars cake. 

 It was just us, and Sam (he's taking the picture) but it was still fun.

Isn't this awesome on the rare occasion that it happens?

We decided this morning to take the kids to Sea World. We may only have a few months left in San Antonio, so we decided to take advantage of the nice weather and spend the day with the fish.
 She is reenacting her surprised face. When we were driving there I was afraid she'd see the road signs (she's reading everything these days). We got lucky and she didn't even notice till we drove in and she said she was glad we didn't drag her to the store. 

 Matt loved the sea lions. There was one (the big one) that kept barking for fish. Matt thought he would bark back. It was pretty cute.

 For some reason, these are the only characters Samantha can manage to get a picture with. 
The only bummer about today was that Samantha mustered up the courage to go on the log ride, but it was closed :( 

 dolphin show

And he almost made it :) I would say he had a pretty awesome birthday weekend. Thanks to everyone that sent cards and presents. We'll have to take him on a mini shopping spree this week.