Thursday, November 29, 2007

Good times

I feel like I am running a marathon. It's been go go go for weeks now, and I am just exhausted. Good news on the work front: starting January 1st I'll be working two days at week at my current position, and the other three days will be spent working with Tim and helping him out with his company. That is also known as sitting on my butt on the couch, laptop in hand, watching Oprah and gmail chatting with friends. I kid, I kid. It will be actual work...just from the comfort of home with my feet up.

The beauty of the situation is this: 1) we only have to pay the dog walker twice a week rather than 5 times a week; 2) I get to do work that is actually reflective of of my interests i.e. marketing and branding Tim's company...I believe that is what my diploma says I am good at; 3) I don't have to travel downtown every day and get jostled on the El...pregnant women should not be jostled.

Oh hi. Did I slide that little nugget of information in there slyly or what? Tim and I have taken it upon ourselves to further populate the good city of Chicago. I suppose that would explain the exhaustion, eh? We're 7 weeks along, so it's still early. We're obviously thrilled by this development, though a little surprised as it is earlier than we expected. Our tentative due date is July 21, 2008...which I must apologize to our lovely friends K & M. Their wedding is July 19th, and I promise I will do my best to keep that baby in there cooking away until AFTER the wedding! I will waddle my way into that church if it kills me!

The family is ecstatic, we're thrilled, everyone is feeling the love. It was a busy week last news, birthdays, Thanksgiving. Now, I guess we know what we'll use that spare room for, huh?

Thank you to those of you who already know the big news, and thank you for all your well wishes. We're looking forward to sharing this time with our friends and family and the internet since I'll be posting about the pregnancy for the next 8 months. It's my website, and I'll post what I want to. Stay tuned for pictures (the growing belly will not be denied!) and informative posts.

We're having a baby!!! AHHHHHHHH!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Birthday Extravaganza

Today is a big day. Not only is it Tim's birthday it's also Miss Lily's birthday! My two favorites in the whole world celebrate their birthdays today!

Happy Birthday to little Lily Belle, Princess of Pups. She's a big girl, all grown up today, a full year old. We're so lucky to have such a lovely mini pup to snuggle with!

And more importantly, Happy Birthday to my handsome and perfect husband, Tim. Today he is 36 years old and getting better every year. He is the best person I know, and he constantly inspires me to be a better person. This next year is going to be wonderful, I can just tell, and I am so thankful that I get to spend it with him. I love you, Tim!

If you get the chance, leave a message here wishing my lovelies a happy day, or venture on over to Tim's blog,, and leave him a message.

Happy Thanksgiving to all! We have so much to be thankful for this year, so I know it will be a wonderful day.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The washing machine debacle of 2007

We got our new washing machine on Friday. It's shiny, new and oh so pretty. However, there was nothing wrong with the old one. Let me describe the scene in our house Friday evening at approximately 8 pm. The new machine was installed, and the delivery guy carted away the old machine. Tim hooked up the hoses, plugged the new one in, and decided to follow the written directions and ran an empty cycle. The whole issue with the old washer was that there was water all over the floor after a cycle. We had searched every nook and cranny for a leak and couldn't locate a source. We assumed (why??? who assumes these days????) that the leak was originating from the old washing machine itself and not the hoses/valves. So we ordered a new machine.

Tim ran the first cycle and walked away from the machine. Again, he assumed the issue was cleared up and ta da! Problem fixed. I then got home from work and ran upstairs to see the shiny new front loading washer. Imagine my extreme surprise when I found water on the floor. Again. I yelled to Tim to come upstairs to assess the issue...bad idea. We ended up arguing for an hour over the source of the leak. Finally, we decided that the valve thing-y that the hoses hook up to had corroded and was not effectively keeping the water where it was supposed to the hoses. Tim was off to the hardware store.

Twenty bucks and an hour later, the leak was fixed and no more water on the floor. Wait, I'm sorry, did I say TWENTY dollars? I meant ONE THOUSAND TWENTY dollars. I forgot about the new washing machine part of this whole debacle. It's just so damn irritating. The old washer is most likely perfectly functioning, and yet, we assumed it was the problem and not a faulty old valve thing-y. Even though we checked out the valve and didn't see the leak.

At the end of the day, I knew we were going to have to replace the washing machine within the year so we just did it a bit earlier than we anticipated. And it is so lovely with buttons and a count down clock. Tim is even a little in love with it... although it will be a cold day in hell before he actually deigns to do his own laundry.

(B, I referenced the book before we made our purchase, I really did!)

Monday, November 12, 2007


Or something to that effect. National Blog Posting Month. Apparently I have been hiding underneath a rock lately and didn't realize I'm supposed to post everyday. I'm already behind so why start now? I'll hit it up next year, promise. Or maybe I won't. You'll just have to keep reading to find out.

Our washing machine is leaking water. I estimate it to be about 10 years old, so we've decided to replace it rather than try to have it repaired. You would think that you do a little research, maybe check out consumer reports, shop online for some good deals, and BAM! you've picked out your new washer. Nope. That is not how we roll in the Smith household. There are visits to stores, and anxiety caused by the lovely colors (how do you chooooose?), and top vs. front load, etc. It's exhausting. I'm thinking a front load now. Not so much for design, though they are pretty to look at, but more for their higher rated efficiency, both water and electric. Readers, any input? I'm partial to the top load because that is what I know, but while we stayed at the Parent Hotel we used their front load and liked it. Of course, the day ours breaks, so does my mother's. Karma, eh?

In other Smith news unrelated to the purpose of this blog, Tim and I are heading down South for Christmas, specifically Ft. Lauderdale, FL. He has finally broken the news to his mother, who wasn't entirely pleased I'm stealing her son for the holiday, but I think we've compromised nicely. Everyone is accomodated, peace has been restored. I used to go to FLL for the holidays every year as a kid, so I am entirely thrilled to continue this tradition with Tim. If all goes well, we'll be making this an annual tradition with our kids. Though we did wait to buy tickets until today and got completely screwed by the airlines. I suppose buying the house was a tad bit more important these past couple of months.

Another question: any idea where I can find a reliable dog sitter/boarder for the holidays in Chicago? Apparently, you need to donate a million dollars the year before to the "top boarding facilities" in order to get in line for the next year. Or your dog must have an IQ of 180 and play an instrument, preferably first or second chair. I don't even want to think about what pre-school is like in the city. I should probably sign-up now. . .

Things, they are a-changin' in SmithLand. Stay tuned for more updates. Here's a picture of Lily to keep you occupied.

Hi...I cute and preshus and lovble. Kiss me. And wittle. I wittle puppy. (12 weeks old)

What up, punk? Why you lookin' at me like that? I didn't do nuthin' wrong. I didn't eat the cat. I need a haircut. (8 months).

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Sara learns to code, kind of

Well hi there! Guess what? It's picture time! Now, this post is brought to you by Sara's inability to take direction and Tim's complete frustration with his wife. BUT. I've learned a teensy little bit about coding, so nothing lost, just something gained. We all win here! Without further adieu . . .

Hi! It's us! (Wish it was like Potter, and we could wave to you. Use your imagination.)

Awww, it's the kids. Lily and Furface Smith. Cute little devils aren't they? And no, we did not pose them. They're best buds.

Just to refresh your memory, this is our home. The whole reason I started this thing in the first place. We took this an hour before we closed. I got butterflies seeing that sale pending sign.

And this is our beautiful, albeit overgrown, backyard. I know people. They will come fix this mess in the spring. They know who they are, and they will remember that they offered. I have been told that we have some really nice (read: expensive) trees/plants/living things back there. I solemnly swear to not kill anything, at least not on purpose.

Welcome to our living room. This is the view from the front hall. The art isn't hung yet. I have asked. Many times. I'm patient. The couch and chair are from my old apartment and just so happen to work very nicely in this room. My plan is to add another chair or two soon, and get a new rug. I'm loving the brown and cream zebra print rug from PB. Is zebra over? Do I care?

View of the staircase from the living room.

Our front entry and hall. I need a new light fixture here, but I am perplexed at my options. Flush mount, semi-flush mount, chandelier, period piece, non-period piece...suggestions are welcome.

View of the RED dining room from the front hall. It is small. Yet totally charming. I am not loving the furniture in here, but we bought it less than a year ago so it stays. This is where Chandy is going to live when she gets here next week. She'll be so happy here :)

View from kitchen.

This was one of my favorite features about this old house--the built in. We believe the house has had many layouts, and its past incarnation places the dining room where the kitchen is now. We think. Tim got the history of the house from a neighbor. That is a story for another time. I know you just want to see pictures.

I apologize for my messy and dark kitchen. I do love this space though. For the age and size of the house (smallish), this is a huge kitchen. I have more cabinet space than I can fill up, and it's in good condition. We will be replacing the counters and flooring next year, hopefully, and getting new appliances. No, there is nothing wrong with them. Tim is an appliance snob, and they must match.

The butcher block island is another of my favorite things. And we have some great open shelving.

View from breakfast nook/sun room/random room I don't know what to do with. The yellow is on its way out. I am taking suggestions for wall color. To stay for now: white cabs, faux beige/gray granite counters, gray/white check linoleum (ack!).

This only represents half of this room. I think the other half will become a TV room...I'll get a small couch and chair. This room is also going to be painted. Since it opens right off the kitchen, I am thinking keeping it in the same tone, but maybe a shade darker. It gets an amazing amount of light from the southern exposure. Look! Those chairs??? Authentic Thonet bentwood chairs. . .courtesy of Craigslist. I am so proud.

And now we have the downstairs full bath. The previous owners did a wonderful job with this bathroom. They maintained the period feel of the home while allowing it to be fully functional and updated. It makes me smile everytime.

Did someone have a little girl? I think so! Bye bye pink. Next weekend. This is the room I am having trouble with. The bedding is staying, so I need to work around that. I am leaning towards a pale pale aqua. Suggestions? Also, I skipped a photo of the third bedroom/former nursery because it is a mess. I have standards, and it is not living up to them.

Our bedroom. The wall color-it is a bit guacamole-ish eh? Again, I am open to suggestions. I change the bedding twice a year based on the season so it has to be neutral enough to match the existing bedding and whatever I get for next year.

I am ashamed to show you all this. We need a dresser. Like yesterday. And if you look closely you'll see my shoes behind the door in the alcove. Three shoe racks full of shoes. My heart hurts that they don't have a good home right now. Also, isn't that TV FAR TOO BIG for the room? I mean, seriously? Tim insists it stays, I think otherwise. Your comments and votes may be enough to sway him.

This the upstairs bath. Also a lovely rehab job by the previous owners. The tub is in its own room with access from the master...I love that separation. I plan to paint in here too.

So there you have it. Our wonderful, beautiful, gorgeous, most perfect home. Or soon to be perfect home. I have so many plans for it. It makes me giddy thinking about all the memories we will create in this home. Thank you, Tim, for making this all possible, and for making me the happiest girl in the world. Minus the gigantor TV in the bedroom. Kisses!

Edited to add: Mission accomplished. New TV in the bedroom, much smaller in size. It was ALL Tim's idea. Great job, honey! Way to go!

Friday, November 2, 2007

The first acquistion

I have taken the plunge! I have made my first new house purchase today! Round of applause please :) There are so many things I want for the house. So few of them are necessities. Tim and I were lucky that we had all the necessary furniture to live comfortably from day one, so now I am on the hunt for special pieces to flesh out the house. The first thing that had to go is the dining room chandelier. It's brass, it's small, it's . . . how do I say this? Fugly. I'll get a picture and post it over the weekend. (I really haven't followed through on that promise though so don't hold your breath).

The dining room is a deep red and gets very little daylight. The only two windows face the big house next door, and as those of you familiar with Chicago lots know, they are much deeper than they are wide. If I opened the window, I could reach out and touch our neighbors house if I stood on my tip toes. Anyhow, I like the red. At least enough to leave it be for the time being. I know, I know, red dining rooms are so cliche. But, I am lazy and too cheap right now to pay a professional to prime it and paint it. They did a good job so why mess with it now, you know?

Today I went shopping for a new chandelier. By shopping I mean browsing the interweb (Tim HATES that word. . .such a computer geek! Or is it nerd? Dork? I confuse the three all the time). I checked your usual: the barn, the barrel, and the hardware store. Nothing at the first two and Resto is just so expensive sometimes. Oh, I forgot to tell you! I didn't want to spend more than $200. I am cheap. Also known as, I change my mind too often to pick out something that costs a thousand dollars even if it might last my entire lifetime. So, I shopped and shopped and shopped, and then I turned to my trusty Home & Garden for advice. One article mentioned that she (interviewee person) gets a lot of her things for photo shoots from Okaaaaaaaayyyyy. Might as well. Again, I am cheap, and the Big O knows cheap.

Off I went, and I stumbled upon what I hope is the perfect chandelier for me. I had thought I wanted a iron scrollwork, 5-6 light piece with crystals. Very French provincial. That is definitely NOT what I bought. Here she is. We'll call her Chandy. My apologies for the small picture.

At first glance she doesn't look like much. She's a very traditional shape and style, but made more modern with clear blown glass. Kind of murano inspired, eh? I bookmarked that page a few weeks ago after Chandy caught my eye. Today, I visited with my decorating advisor and all knowing seer, Danielle, who also loved Chandy. So it was decided. And the best part, when I did another google search for Chandy to see if I could get it for an even lower price than O (listed at $204), I got to Deals Plus. Ok, so I GUESS what happens is you click on the link to the item through Deals Plus, and it takes you directly to the website. That website happened to be O, AND I got the Deals Plus discount of another $24! Total, with $2.95 shipping because that is the way the O rocks it, $183. I came in under budget!

I will obviously need to better assess Chandy when she arrives at my house. But, here's to hoping she's everything I imagine her to be!

And a very happy birthday to my Dad! That handsome fella is the best dad a girl could ask for!