About Me

June 10th

Hello! So a couple of the bloggers that I read regularly came back from vacation last week and apologized for being absent... for a week. I looked at my blog and I haven't posted anything since April 16 and I really hadn't said anything from well before that. So, I think that an apology is due?

Sorry!

I do have excuses. Right now I'm actually dictating this blog post to my computer, because I have a broken collarbone and can’t type. Long story short, Matt and I had a miscommunication about which direction we were going to go our bikes last Saturday and we collided. It was nobody’s fault, but he was definitely wrong.

Long story: Matt and I was out of Bethany Beach last weekend on a wonderful family vacation. Along with his brother and sister we conspired to kidnap his mother and father to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Matt and I snuck out the house before everybody was up on Saturday morning and went on a bike ride. We were less a mile from the rental and decided to take a shortcut. That was when we had the miscommunication and collided. I didn’t know how bad it was until a little bit after accident when I couldn’t lift my arm. The good news is, because Matt was wrong, or should I say Matt was mostly wrong, or should I say that Matt was more wrong than me, he has been at my service since we’ve gotten home.

I know I have a lot of catching up to do with house renovations. We've been busy working around the house and getting a lot of projects done. We've reroofed, painted, sketched additions, made and hung curtains, and more-we've done a lot [all with full-time jobs and a jam-packed social calendar].

We can chat about all that in another blog post. Right now I want to talk about our weekend at the beach.

The trip to the beach was really exciting, because we didn't tell that parent what exactly we were going to do. We told them about two months ago to make sure they took two days off from work, but we didn’t tell them why and never spoke of it again. Then Matt’s sister, Melanie, and brother-in-law, Rich, spent a couple weeks prepping Matt’s parents for the trip (telling them what to bring) and trying to trick them into thinking they were going places that they weren’t really going. We didn’t say anything and I hope that we can give anything away without knowing. I know they were trying to be sneaky and get information out of his other brother, but they weren’t sneaky enough.

After weeks of planning (and plotting), Melanie and Rich kidnapped them and headed out on Thursday. They were guessing the whole way where they were going. They were pretty surprised when they turned south, because they thought that they might be going up to Lake Placid or Canada. Eventually, they thought they were coming to our house, because they have to drive by our exit on the Interstate to get to Bethany Beach, but they kept driving and I think that’s when they knew they were going to the beach.

Along the way, Matt and I spotted them on the road and pulled up next to them gave a big smile and waved. Matt’s mom looked incredibly surprised and then everybody started laughing. At that point, I think they knew we were in on it.

We rented a house about a third of a mile from Bethany boardwalk, it was just perfect and I would be very tempted to rent it again. That night, once we unpacked the cars, we had a nice dinner, chatted for a while, and went down to the ocean to dip our toes in the water and have some delicious frozen custard.

Hunter Ocean

After checking out the water, we went to bed, so that we would have lots of energy for a day at the beach. At this point Matt's brother had not arrived, and I’m not quite sure whether or not his parents knew that he was coming. But he was to arrive the next day (surprise #2).

We spent most of our first full day at Fenwick Island playing in the waves with our niece and nephew (two of the cutest kids you ever did see). We built sand castles, found shells, burnt our toes on the hot sand and enjoyed ourselves.

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[Aunt Ellie and Haily]

Pasted Graphic
[Uncle Matt and Hunter]

After an exhausting fun filled morning, we headed back to the rental to shower, nap and get ready for our family picture on the beach. But first, we had another surprise for the anniversary couple, Mike (Matt’s brother) showed up! The whole family was there! We all hung out for a bit and then started getting ready for the picture now that the whole crew was there!

I have always loved family picture where everybody is wearing one color (call me crazy) and I thought it would be the perfect memento from the weekend! I was so happy when everybody said they would bring a white shirt, here are my favorites:

Family Photo
[Family Photo]

White Shirts on the Beach
[Family photo #2]

After we took a thousand pictures on the very windy beach, we went out to celebrate Matt’s parent’s anniversary at the Cottage Café in Bethany. We had a nice dinner, although for the prices, I wouldn’t recommend it. The service was impeccable though! Dinner was followed by a round of putt putt golf, a beach favorite! We had a wonderful first day.

Putt Putt Bethany Beach
[Mini golf]
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Remember

Ribbon
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Hello from Snowy Delaware

Snow in Delaware March 25
[Hello? Spring? Where are you?]

March 25th and snow? I've seen snow past March before in Virginia, but never enough to stick. This is a picture of Our Old Colonial, taken on my way back from the gym this morning at 7:30. This is the most snow we have seen all year [it is still snowing at 3:00 in the afternoon] and it is in March. It has warmed up enough so it isn't sticking anymore, but my goodness, what a sight!

I have no pictures of the bathroom for you. They'll be coming soon. We worked on plumbing the bathtub all weekend. One stinking joint just didn't want to seal, so we had to take it apart 3 times, clean it up and put it back together. Not to mention the numerous times we tried to just heat the thing back up and add more solder.

But, after all that work! We were able to shower upstairs for the first time in over 4 weeks! It was glorious!!!

Oh and the high tomorrow, is around 50 degrees! Bye bye snow!
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The Shower That Was Not and Tiling tricks!

Well, remember last Friday when I said that we would be showering upstairs this morning. I should have known the instant I said that, the instructions on the grout drying time would morph from being 48 hours to a week! [of course they were always a week, I just thought they were 48 hours]. So, while we got most of what we wanted to done over the weekend, we are not showing upstairs until next week. Bummer.

Subway Tile Instalation
[Putting up the subway tile]

The subway tile went up sort of as planned. It did go up on Saturday, however it went up on Saturday afternoon rather than Saturday morning. Saturday morning we spend SHOPPING.... no not fun shopping, Home Depot shopping [fun for some, not for me early on Saturday morning for approximately 2 hours].

Tiling itself, yet another not-so-fun activity. It took 6 hours from start to finish and that was with using a tile saw. I can only imagine how long it would have taken otherwise.

Subway Tile Bath pregrout
[Subway Tile, before grouting]

While tiling about 400 subway tiles is very tedious, I did learn a trick along the way that made the second 200 go much quicker.

My tile tip: apply the mortar using a spackle knife rather than the smooth side your toothed trowel. When I used the trowel, half of the grout wound up flopping onto the tub [very frustrating]. I had a lot more control with my 4 inch spackle knife, which made everything go much faster and cleaner!

My second tiling tip: This tiling tip is for those of you who are planning on getting your tub refinished. Tile before you get your tub refinished! This way you don't have to worry about getting grout and thinset all over your newly refinished tub and most of the clean up is left to your tub refinishing guy. [This tip came from our tub refinishing guy-who did an amazing job!]

Our tub refinishers came on Monday morning and got our tub looking all shiny and new.

It went from:
Before Tile refinisher
[Tub abuse]

To this:
White Tub Refinish
[Can you hear the angels singing?]

I will leave you with one last photo of the bathroom:
White Subway Tile Bathroom Black
[still a little finish work left, but looking so much better!

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Oh the bathroom

The bathroom is coming along. Not as quickly as we had hoped. We foolishly thought the whole renovation would take about 2-3 weekends with some work during the week. Well this week we didn't get much done as we had hoped, I don't know about you guys out there, but this whole springing forward thing has really gotten to me.

I'm the type of person that does not like to get up a different times even on the weekend, let alone reschedule my entire week! So, I've been a zombie all week and the thought of working on the bathroom once I get home from work is not my idea of fun. That being said, we still have spent some time working up there throughout the week after working really hard all last weekend, just not as much as we had planned.

Tile Shovel
[Here I am shoveling tile out of the tub]

We were able to get the toilet and the sink re-installed last weekend after clearing out the rest of the tile, so we moved our bedroom back upstairs. I'm not sure if I mentioned that we had spent the last three weeks sleeping in our guest room on the first floor while the upstairs bath was out of commission. I felt homesick, even though we were just down stairs, I wasn't in my room and I didn't like it! Call me a baby if you must!

The drywall is up and I put on several coats of joint compound. It is ready to be sanded and painted [cross your fingers that gets done tonight]. The concrete board is up around the tub and ready to be tiled [cross your fingers that happens tomorrow morning].

Bathroom renovation 2
[Toilet where it belongs]

And finally we have the somebody coming to refinish the tub bright and early on Monday morning! So, come Tuesday, we should be showering upstairs again in our shiny new bathroom. *fingers crossed* *knock on wood*

Other projects happening around the house might surprise you [I say this because they surprise me]. What surprises me the most is that there ARE other projects going on at the same time as a bathroom remodel and they aren't small! What happened was that I decided last Saturday that I wanted to knock down a non-structural wall in the unfinished basement and then semi-finish the two rooms into one large TV room. So, we did just that. We took a sledgehammer to the wall [that I never quite understood why existed in the first place] and the wall is no longer. We still have a lot of work to do to make it finished, but it already looks so much bigger! I'm very excited about it!

Basement wall destruction
[The aftermath of the wall demo]

We're hoping to get some work done in the basement over the weekend too and finish this project up over the next few weekends! Hopefully before April, because our month of April is booked solid with events on nearly every weekend!

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