Wednesday, September 29, 2010

And you thought I was slacking...

I know it's been quite a while since my last blog post. But rest assured, we haven't just been resting up here in Ithaca. In fact, there hasn't been much rest at all!

In between the daily life (you know, work, cooking, etc), and planning to host a major party for 250 people next weekend, we've managed to turn this:

Into this:

Sadly, at least on my computer screen, you can't tell the magnitude of the change from construction worker orange to rich, chocolate brown.

One thing you can see is the transformation of the wall sconces:

After all of the manual labor we've done so far, it was fun to do a less intense home related project! I have learned that one key to successful purchasing is to clearly define what I'm looking for prior to the shopping trip. (This is true in all cases except for the major purchase of this house itself, in which we met maybe 1 of our 5 key criteria - but couldn't be happier!) So, I embarked upon a search for a rug that was approximately 30" by 80", had a brown and green pattern, didn't look too much like an Oriental rug, was dark enough in color to handle shoe traffic.

Enter stage left:

(Excuse the less-than-great picture)

Aside from protecting our now-gorgeous floors, the new rug unifies the living room and den. I hope to create a little home entrance area.
For those of you who are not yet familiar with our house lay-out, the den is immediately to your right as you come in the front door. I grew up in a house with a foyer, so it's a bit of an adjustment to come in the front door and *bam* you're in the living room. Down the line, we'll have coat hooks, etc to make this a more useful entranceway.

For the short-term, we have this weekend to turn the den into a temporary master bedroom. This involves purchasing a bed (I vetoed Justin's half-joking "let's share my twin bed" suggestion), hanging blinds/curtains, and finishing the last remaining renovation tasks (painting the baseboards and installing the quarter rounds where the floor meets the walls).

We're pretty proud of our first room and the checks on the to-do list that got us here!

Hopefully next time I can provide a more step-by-step view of our progress! I suspect that once I have my own working computer (and don't have to mooch off Justin's when he's not doing homework), I can increase my blog presence. In fact, I have dreams of a daily lunch-break post (don't get too attached to the idea yet!) The next few weeks may be a little slow though - the wedding's right around the corner!

(That's all that's left of Justin's 365-day countdown chain I made him last year for our negative one year anniversary). Single digit countdown starts tomorrow!

Monday, September 13, 2010

A marathon kind of weekend

We had a really great weekend up here in Ithaca. It was the kind of weekend that reminded me that this is really the life God planned for me to be living. I've told a lot of people that I never realized how unhappy I was at my job in Harrisburg until I left. Granted, it was the best experience I could have had for those 2 years to develop my professional confidence and prepare me for what I'm doing now...but it's such a wonderful feeling to be in the career I really am meant to be doing, to have the work-life balance I never had in Harrisburg, and to be able to enjoy a really cool place with a great guy by my side!!

Friday night, we kicked off the weekend at the Chem-E grad picnic. Despite it being chilly (who expects to wear 4 layers of long-sleeved shirts the second week in September??), we had a great time playing soccer with a mixed group of grad students, professors, and assorted kids.

Saturday, it was up bright and early for another Chem-E activity: the inaugural 2010 lab group bike ride. While I was skeptical about a 25+ mile bike ride, I ended up really enjoying it (and, miraculously, woke up Sunday still able to walk - and even without pain!). The weather was absolutely gorgeous - perfect temperature, beautiful sunshine. Justin's advisor mapped out a great route (minus a few tough hills!) that led through the beautiful NY countryside. I was pretty proud to have completed a marathon (albeit on a bicycle!)

Sunday, it was more marathons - a catch-up of Office episodes from last season (we've gotta be ready for the upcoming season premiere!) to relax, then grading homework for Justin and painting in the den for me. The whole space is primed and the trim has been painted. Ready for some ceiling paint tomorrow and color on Wednesday!

Today, I took a break from home renovation to enjoy another aspect of "Former Glory." Being the traditionalist that I am, I took a course from the Cooperative Extension on canning foods. I'm still game for canning the yield from our dreamed 2011 garden, but I may be wooed by the other (easier?) methods (such as freezing) that are covered in next week's class.

Pardon the lack of pictures from anything; didn't want to leave you hanging without a post! I'll now tiptoe out of the kitchen/office/bedroom so as to leave sleeping Justin to his peace. Good times ahead when we have more than one computer...more than one room...etc! But for now, I really can't complain. Life is good - and will only get better. 26 days 'til the wedding!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Decorating the den

Today, we celebrated our negative one monthiversary (thanks, Maura, for the term!) by hanging woodwork in the den! The floors need just one more coat of polyurethane, but Sherwin Williams is out of the high-gloss stuff we need, so we're working on other things until they're able to deliver more from other local stores.

Here's the before, with the ugly remains of decades worth of different curtain holders:

And here's the after (not quite done because I snapped the picture before I filled the nail holes):

And check out those gorgeous floors in the "in progress" picture:

Based on the delays we've had, it's unlikely that the upstairs will be finished for our honeymoon return. That's ok, though - the den will make a nice temporary bedroom. Looking forward to being a resident of the house! The final countdown is on ~ one month to Mr. & Mrs.! :)